By Marcus Leach
Chancellor George Osborne will announce the Autumn Statement on Tuesday, and with the country's economy still far from rude health there is, in the eyes of small business owners throughout the nation, still plenty that can be done.
Whilst certain measures of this year's Budget have helped the country's economy, there are still growing concerns that not enough is being done to help small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
"There is a real need for the UK government to help kick start the
economy and get people into work," Gary Stewart, founder and director at Xceed said.
"However, the increasing complexity and ever-changing tax systems are not conducive to decreasing unemployment rates. The biggest burden to UK companies is the current tax system specifically, changes to corporation tax collection as companies reach a certain size. SMEs and fast growing companies need access to cash to fund continued growth and the current system is stifling the availability.
"These companies are having to spend this much needed cash sooner than
they previously would have, and on back office functions and accountancy
fees, rather than hiring additional staff allowing them to continue to
"So, if there's one item I'd like to see in the Chancellor's Autumn
budget, it's making the UK tax system easier and more flexible for UK
Neil Hammerton, CEO, Natterbox believes there needs to be more of a focus on youth employment, an area where figures are increasingly bleak.
"As someone who has owned and run businesses from small, to medium and
large, I have a core development team, which is rapidly expanding and
would welcome any incentive from the Government to hire more young
talent," he said.
"To circumvent the lack of jobs and skills shortage, the ideal
situation is to not only educate and train, but to also employ young apprentices now, especially in areas like development."
Eric Abensur, CEO at Venda is calling upon the Chancellor to focus his efforts on the retail sector.
"Venda has a very clear mission to help British retailers through the
toughest trading period in the past 60-years. The key to retail survival
and growth is convergent cross-channel commerce and internationalisation," Mr Abensur said.
"I would like to see the Chancellor help British retailers in the
- Cut VAT to encourage increased spending. The increased sales will allow
retailers the opportunity to keep stores open, to invest in the tools
they need to grow and to employ the people they need to deliver a great
- Create tax incentives that allow retailers to invest in improved
in-store shopping experiences - particularly improved wireless broadband
access in-store to facilitate the ever increasing use of smartphones and
the web enabled store and geo-location based marketing and promotions.
"We'd also like incentives for kiosks to improve the access to information
for all consumers.
- Create incentives for retailers to invest in smartphone and tablet
technology. Not just for use in mobile shopping but also to create new
ways of serving the customer such as roaming EPOS and mobile-based
payments and loyalty-cards.
- Accelerate the rollout of 4G and encourage greater coverage. British
consumers are fed-up with slow and intermittent mobile access at the
times they want most to use it such as when travelling. Poor and slow
coverage is restraining mCommerce growth.
- Extend retail apprenticeship schemes to include digital and
international retailing in the programme. Under-25s make up 30% of the
retail workforce and giving young people the skills to participate in the
future of the fastest growing part of this vital sector of the British
economy is essential to Britain.
"We strongly believe that implementing these measures will help British
retailers to be more competitive by improving their international and
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