Cutting red tape emerges as key issue to be tackled
ALMOST a third of SMEs in the UK say that the most positive thing the new government could do for them would be to reduce regulation and red tape.
This is according to the findings of the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of SMEs that canvasses their opinion on a range of financial and economic issues.
The survey also found that 16% would most like the government to take action on late payments, while 15% think a freeze on business rates would be the most beneficial type of support. A further 14% cited help with access to finance as the thing they’d most like to see from the government.
Commenting on the figures, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance, Mike Randall said: “The economy was a major focus for all of the main parties in the run up to the election, with the importance of SMEs recognised in terms of the role they will continue to play as the economy recovers.
“There was welcome news in the emergency budget that the annual investment allowance for SMEs will be permanently doubled, and that the rate of corporation tax will fall to 18% by 2020.
“Our survey asked small and medium sized business owners what the most important issue was for the government to tackle on their behalf, and the majority response across each English region was a reduction in administrative burdens, or ‘red tape’,” he added.
More than two fifths of businesses polled state that trading conditions for their business are improving, with 38% expecting to expand in the next 12 months.
Mike Randall added: “The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) recently released statistics that show SME growth and start-up rates to have returned to pre-recession levels, which is incredibly positive news.
“It is essential that we continue to support them in whatever way possible. Given that 99% of businesses in the UK are classed as SMEs, it is in all of our interests to do so.”