FSB calls for small business focus in Budget

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George Osborne has an opportunity to better support small businesses, the FSB believes

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) believes the chancellor's upcoming Budget - the first for the new government - must focus on bolstering support for the nation's smaller business operators in the months ahead.

Set to be announced this month, the chancellor's summer Budget has been touted as a chance for the new full-Tory government to make good on several of its pre-election pledges to tackle what the party believes to be excessive welfare spending and the lasting deficit.

However, the FSB believes the Budget also presents the perfect opportunity for the chancellor to show his and the government's ongoing support for small businesses, with measures to boost job creation likely to have far-reaching benefits for the whole of the economy.

National chairman of the FSB John Allan commented: "The Budget is an early opportunity to provide a boost to the increasing positive sentiment, and for the chancellor to demonstrate his pro-enterprise credentials by again backing small business to deliver the growth and jobs the economy needs. That effort must however begin with a continued focus on reducing the deficit that remains too high for comfort.

"As our submission sets out, further supply-side reforms to boost the UK's flagging productivity should be the other main area of focus. As well as progressing existing policies, this will require all parts of government to co-ordinate their efforts and focus on areas such as raising skills in the workforce, simplifying the tax system, encouraging exports and removing barriers to enterprise."

He added that rebalancing economic activity and raising the performance of parts of the UK beyond London and the south-east must be a priority for this government, as failure to do so will lead to an uneven spread of prosperity in the years ahead and some areas "being left behind".

Therefore, the FSB's key areas where the body would like to see improved support for small firms are:

  1. Improved access to finance for small business operators.
  2. Increased support for companies looking to export goods and services overseas.
  3. Supporting the creation of more apprenticeship positions and encouraging businesses to invest in skills development for staff.
  4. Reform to radically simplify the existing system of taxation for small businesses.
  5. An increased commitment to long-term infrastructure development.
  6. An increase in funding for innovation in higher education.
  7. The creation of new schemes to help in the delivery of exceptional leadership and management for businesses.

It is hoped that should all (or even some) of these measures make their way into the chancellor's upcoming Budget announcement, then small businesses across the country will be able to play an even stronger role in delivering a lasting economic recovery for all.