Budget 2012: SMEs demand Budget lifeline

Small business owners have spoken out on what they want to see from the Budget, with improving access to finance and easing credit flow mentioned as key priorities.

Paul Alexander, CEO of customer insight business Beyond Analysis says, ‘Napoleon was right when he called Britain a nation of shopkeepers. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up the vast majority of the nation’s companies and are central to the UK’s future success, and we’d like to see more being done by the government to make direct loans, funds and grants readily accessible for all SMEs.

Alexander adds that tax breaks should be provided to SME technology companies as ‘they create the largest employment opportunities for the country’.

Gary Stewart, director at IT and business change organisation Xceed agrees. ‘I’d like to see tax breaks putting money back into the pockets of businesses and individuals. While it may seem counter-intuitive for the government to release its clutch on incoming funds, by easing the pressure on businesses and individuals, spending and investment can increase.”

Stewart adds that if the government hopes to encourage private businesses to take up the slack of public sector redundancies then they need to give them the tools to become job creators.

‘The restrictions of red tape, regulation, poor availability of credit and tax burdens all need to be stripped back if small businesses are to help bolster economic growth.’

Annette Iafrate, managing director at marketing company Constant Contact says, ‘We speak with small business owners and start ups on a daily basis and they are more time and resource-starved than ever before. The message we’re getting is loud and clear: On 21st March, SMEs are hoping Osborne delivers a ‘relief plan’ that focuses on driving business growth in order to get the UK’s economy back on track again.”

Iafrate believes credit flow needs to be improved for businesses. ‘SMEs are a crucial driving force behind achieving long-term growth and recovery. One measure we know would benefit them immensely is improving credit flow, so small businesses can follow a simple, clear-cut scheme when they require quick access to funds.’


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The Budget