SMEs need greater access to information and must increase exports to thrive

Four in five MPs believe SME owners need more information, advice and guidance when considering expanding into international trade.

Nearly nine in ten feel more small businesses need to export in order for the UK to fulfil trading exports potential

Nearly nine in ten feel more small businesses need to export in order for the UK to fulfil trading potential

Almost four in five MPs (79 per cent) believe that people thinking about starting a new business, and even those who have been operating a business for a number of years, need more information advice and guidance when considering foreign exports.

The findings are published by Informi, the website offering free practical advice and support for small businesses, having gauged views on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from politicians on both sides of the House of Commons.

The study also reveals that a staggering 85 per cent of MPs believe there needs to be a big increase in the number of SMEs who exports for the UK to fulfil its potential as a trading nation. With the Brexit starting gun about to be fired by Prime Minister Theresa May, SMEs will be looking to government for strong trading deals with nations inside and outside the EU.

Darren Nicholls, product manager for Informi, says, ‘Whether you started a new business yesterday or have been heading up multiple businesses for years, it’s clear that there is a wider requirement for the ability to receive independent help and advice. That’s exactly why the Informi site was launched in 2016 as an additional source of information on a range of issues relevant to small business leaders.

‘The study also highlighted the importance of encouraging more SMEs to export. The UK is responsible for over 40 per cent of world trade, and yet government figures suggest just nine per cent of our SMEs export. If we can help and support more SMEs to export, especially given the current unknowns about the effects of Brexit, then as a nation we could achieve so much more of our potential.’

Findings

Three quarters (71 per cent) of MPs believe that the inequalities between SMEs and larger business are a cause for concern and should be addressed by government intervention.

Seven in ten (70 per cent) of MPs believe that the amount of time and money SMEs spend on dealing with the tax system seriously impacts upon their ability to invest and create jobs.

Two thirds (63 per cent) of MPs either strongly or somewhat agree that government plans to make Britain’s tax system the most digitally advanced in the world by 2020 (Making Tax Digital) will have a positive impact on SMEs.

Further reading on exports

Nominations are now open for the British Small Business Awards 2017, the leading event celebrating the brightest stars in the SME sector. Click here to enter, and make sure you get involved today using the hashtag #BSBAwards. Good luck!

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