Small businesses are the engine of the UK economy. And hence the government must prioritise their wellbeing and growth at all costs to help the economy grow further
From funding to increasing brand awareness, starting a company is an uphill trek. And, once launched, the woes aren’t over for entrepreneurs. While Brexit is already plaguing businesses with uncertainty, company leaders think the government must do more to support them, according to new research figures.
A YouGov poll which surveyed 2,108 business owners and senior managers revealed 62% admitted they don’t believe that the government is on their side. Furthermore, 68% said the government is not sympathetic towards them as far as the current tax system is concerned. The study was carried out for the Centre of Policy Studies think tank.
A resultantreport on the back of the findings was authored by Nick King, the head of business at the Centre for Policy Studies, which said companies expect government support beyond just funding and that it must look deeper into making operations easier for companies. He said: “It is all too easy to sit at a desk in Westminster and come up with theories about how to help small businesses.”
King also suggested a range of measures that the government must adopt to help small businesses, including a three-month National Insurance holiday on new hires for businesses with eight or fewer employees. This would also help companies manage cashflow problems.
Analysing the problems portrayed in the report, he added: “Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy making up more than 99% of all businesses, government has a duty to protect their interests so our economy can continue to thrive. But the current one size fits all model is failing small business – too many of them are strangled by paperwork, bureaucracy and administration, costing them time and money.”
Commenting prior to the publication of the report, Sajid Javid said: "Small businesses are the engine of the British economy and the millions of people who run businesses up and down the country deserve the government's full support. This report shows how bureaucracy and paperwork are stifling the growth of our small businesses and offers a series of compelling ideas for how government can roll back the tide and show that the Conservatives are backing entrepreneurs."
Indeed, apart from funding, small businesses need to feel supported on a wider scale. This support can include mentorship, development programmes, networking and co-working spaces – all of which are crucial for small businesses to grow and succeed in the UK economy and beyond. And, given that there are 5.6 million SMEs in the UK as calculated in 2018 which have a combined turnover of £2tn, it’s clear that the government must do more to benefit small-business owners.