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Can the General Election Results Make a Difference to Small Businesses?

Facts and Figures relating UK Businesses from an FSB survey:

In the UK, 99% of the 4.9 million businesses are small and micro businesses.

33% of turnover is from small firms – giving £1.6 trillion of the UK economy

Take One have been members of the FSB for over 17 years and a recent survey of FSB members found that 51% had been paid late in the last 12 months

16% of FSB members also said that growth is a key business objective in the next 12 months, especially in water, energy, environmental, digital and telecoms sectors

60% of FSB members pay business rates, so not just people working solo from home

Interestingly, 18% of small businesses are led by women, that’s up from 16% at the last election.

The FSB’s Election manifesto says:

“The next Government, regardless of its political make-up, needs to back small businesses.”
“Government needs to streamline business support; improve access to finance and public procurement, invest in skills of our young people; rebalance the economy; make all markets work better; and reduce the costs of doing business.”
“To enact our proposals will spark sustainable economic growth, led by our world-beating small businesses. To ignore them will lead to increasing burdens on business & an unbalanced recovery.”

In an interview with Forbes Emma Jones, the founder of Enterprise Nation said the following:
“New entrepreneurs want access to reasonably-priced early-stage strategic advice. The Government’s £30m growth voucher scheme, which uses accredited advisers in a range of disciplines, to continue beyond its planned cut-off point in March. Also they would like to see private sector funding contributing to it. People a need to get to the next level.” Here at Take One we have made use of the Government’s voucher scheme to upskill our staff in creative media with training on video production techniques using AfterEffects and looking at digital workflows for video productions. We’re also hoping to take advantage of grants available to support apprenticeship schemes for creative digital skills – if we can only find the right person!

However, despite the Government claiming to have reduced red tape and made access to funds easier, “Small firms still have to jump through a myriad of red tape in order to apply for Government contracts or to work with bigger firms that are fulfilling Government contracts. More often than not these details are meaningless. There is a pledge to take this away by the Government and give 25% of central Government procurement to SME’s.” We would be delighted to see this taken a step further by seeing firms that procure from small businesses receiving a kite mark that shows they are ‘Investors in Small Business’.”

“There are now over 5 million self-employed in the UK. This is about 1 in 7 people, who work for themselves. By 2017, the number of self-employed is set to raise and exceed the number of public sector workers. Even though this is the case, self-employed workers do not receive the same entitlement to benefits as the employed. This includes: pensions, health insurance, maternity leave, access to mortgages & even investment in personal development and training. The self-employed are entitled to enjoy the same benefits as employees including health, insurance, pension schemes and mortgage entitlement.”

In Thames Valley the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) lobbies each of the 21 MPs on issues that matter to small businesses. As a membership organisation it provides tremendous support to local businesses and is well worth the cost of joining._

From the recent FSB survey it was felt that the measures which the next Government should implement in the following areas to support the UK’s 4.9 million small businesses and deliver economic growth and full employment were:

Deliver a sustained economic recovery
Rebalance the economy, driving sustainable growth in every nation and region
Create high quality jobs and full employment
Make all markets work better
Lower the costs of doing business.

The policy proposals presented here will spark sustainable economic growth and job creation, led by our world-beating small business. We’ve seen a definite increase in business confidence with increased requests for video projects at the start of the year – long may it continue!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/philipsalter/2015/01/26/what-uk-small-businesses-want-from-mays-general-election/


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