FSB: ‘Stable environment’ needed for SMEs

Business Secretary Vince Cable must promote a stable environment for small businesses to thrive, the Federation of Small Businesses will tell the Liberal Democrat Conference this week.

As recent economic data shows a weakening of the economy, with sluggish growth and unemployment once again breaking through the 2.5 million barrier, the FSB will launch its ‘Real-Life Entrepreneurs’ campaign, which will encourage the government to act on its rhetoric and bring in policies that will deliver tangible results on growth.

The campaign highlights how it is the everyday men and women that have taken a risk and started their own business that will be responsible for getting the economy back on track, but that they face many obstacles when trying to do so.

The FSB believes there are six practical steps the government can take to make a difference, including increasing the routes to finance, improving cash flow and adopting a new approach to regulation.

With a third of FSB members citing regulation as their single biggest obstacle to growth, the government must do more to reduce the burden at local, national and EU levels, says the organisation.

Reducing and simplifying business taxes to help more people become entrepreneurs, incentivising job creation and opening up export markets are also topics scrutinised by the lobbying group.

FSB national chairman John Walker says, ‘The economy has stalled and as the impact of the public sector cuts continue to bite, the government needs the UK’s small businesses – those that have taken a risk to set up in business – to pick up the slack. But, for this to happen we need to see a strong plan for growth put in place.

‘While the culture of celebrity entrepreneurs will have spurred people into starting a business, more needs to be done to make doing so more accessible to more people.’

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