FSB highlights small business aims for new govt

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The FSB has highlighted the wants of small firms from the new government

Following the surprise outcome of last week's general election, a new majority Conservative government has now taken on the mantle of delivering leadership for the nation during the course of the next five years.

As a result, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) believes it is now essential for ministers to take seriously the plight of smaller companies up and down the UK and to make good on their pre-election pledges.

With this in mind, the organisation has carried out a poll of the nation's small firms and has revealed the top wants of these operators when it comes to making the UK's business sector more conducive to growth and stability.

Having polled more than 2,300 small business representatives, the FSB's results show one of the biggest challenges facing this new government will be in reducing the current regulatory burden that many firms believe could be placing an unnecessary brake on recovery.

Indeed, addressing this issue was shown to be a top priority for 53 per cent of the survey's respondents.

Other major issues that small businesses would like to see tackled in the near future include the introduction of a more simplified tax regime (51 per cent), reform to the nation's business rates (44 per cent), developing the skills of young people to ensure they are more employable straight out of school (41 per cent) and delivering on promises to roll out improved broadband and mobile connectivity across all areas of the UK (39 per cent).

Rounding out the FSB's top ten business wants were measures to help firms create more jobs (34 per cent), tackling late payments (33 per cent), delivering lower energy costs for businesses (30 per cent), increased access to finance (28 per cent), and, finally, greater investment in infrastructure (26 per cent).

Overall, the new Conservative government will face some considerable challenges in the years ahead, but the FSB believes that by addressing some of these chief concerns among the nation's smallest businesses, promoting a more stable and lasting recovery could be more achievable.

Responding to the results, FSB national policy chairman Mike Cherry commented: "Today's wide ranging research sends a very clear message on what small businesses want from the new government - a supportive, light touch tax and regulatory environment in which to grow their business, creating prosperity and jobs.

"Over the five years of this parliament, our member's top priorities are to lighten the burdens of regulation and tax, reform broken business rates, support the development and skills of young people, and improve broadband and mobile connectivity.

"We look forward to meeting with ministers to discuss how we can help make this happen and continue to foster the economic conditions which allow enterprise to flourish."