Red tape is small businesses’ biggest concern

Trimming red tape features at the top of a list of SMEs’ priorities for the new government, with 51% of small businesses saying it should be a prime focus

Red tape is small businesses’ biggest concern

Now the dust has well and truly settled on the UK election, the meat of the Conservatives’ work is about to begin. Certainly there have been plenty of start-up friendly measures promised thus far but what do small businesses actually want from the next five years of government?

Research commissioned by Lloyds Bank and conducted by BDRC Continental reveals that 51% of SMEs would like to see the Tory majority government trim back unnecessary regulations and bureaucracy. Over two fifths said that creating better incentives to invest should be a priority, whilst just under a third felt addressing the skills gap was a pressing concern. Other items on the new government’s agenda should be tackling late payments and opening up barriers to overseas trade, with 24% and 17% of small businesses respectively identifying these as key issues.

Inevitably different sectors appear to favour different initiatives as a priority. While 60% of real estate and 57% of energy businesses identified trimming red tape as a major concern, healthcare and the public sector were the most concerned with the skills gap, with 41% and 45% of these organisations respectively listing it as a pressing issue. Meanwhile, 31% of construction and professional services firms were keen to address the impact late payments are having on their businesses.

“Small and medium sized businesses have clear views on what the new government’s priorities should be to help with their growth ambitions,” said Tim Hinton, managing director of mid markets and SME banking at Lloyds Banking Group. “Businesses have welcomed the government’s recent commitment to cut red tape and they recognise it as a priority. However they will want reassurance that their concerns about skills, investment and exports will also be addressed.”

Well that’s the Tory agenda set for the next five years. Time to get down to business. 

Josh Russell
Josh Russell

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