Two fifths of small business owners feel the government should prioritise investment in infrastructure over other services, research finds.
Some 40 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK believe that the government’s greatest priority should be investment in the country’s infrastructure ahead of health, education, energy and innovation.
More than half of respondents who believe upgrading infrastructure is the most pressing issue to address say that they feel this is what the economy most needs in order to prosper.
The findings come from the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that seeks to canvass the opinion of SME owners and senior management across the UK.
CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance David Thomson says that ensuring the UK has a world-class infrastructure is a crucial part of the country’s long-term economic plan.
He adds, ‘I’m sure that many SMEs were heartened by the recent announcement of a new national infrastructure plan, outlining £375 billion of planned public and private sector investment. The proposal set out vital long-term investment for energy transport, flood defence, waste, water and communications infrastructure up to 2030 and beyond.’
The Close Brothers Business Barometer also reveals that a further quarter of SMEs surveyed believe that a modern infrastructure is vital if their business is to achieve growth.
Thomson adds, ‘This expenditure will not only create jobs and stimulate the economy in the short term, but with upgraded networks in place, the UK will be better positioned to attract foreign investment and ensure long-term growth and prosperity.
‘Many business owners will undoubtedly be excited by the prospect of this sizeable investment from the government as it will give the economy the kick start that it needs.’
Thomson continues that advanced transport networks and energy supplies will create efficiencies for UK businesses, while improved access to superfast broadband will benefit those that trade online immensely.
‘By investing in infrastructure, we can ensure that UK businesses are well equipped and ready to meet the challenges that recovery may bring head on.’