By Claire West

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) urges the new leader of the Labour Party, due to be announced tomorrow, to remember that small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy and to ‘think small first’, as they host their first Party Conference.

Small businesses are vital to continued economic recovery, yet there are many issues which they face that hinder their growth potential. Through the FSB ‘Voice of Small Business’ survey panel, the views of more than 4,000 members have been collated on various issues which affect them, from broadband speeds, availability of finance and red tape. Key findings show:

· 75 per cent want the UK tax system to be simplified

· 57 per cent are keen to go green and believe that doing so would provide cost savings

· 33 per cent believe too much red tape is hindering the growth of their business

· 63 per cent are unhappy with the speed of their broadband connection and want to see accurate advice from service providers

The FSB is also holding a fringe event on the recently relaunched Keep Trade Local campaign, to highlight the importance of local shops, to local economic recovery.

John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“The new leader will take the reins of the Labour party at a difficult time, with a Coalition Government and impending political change. It is important however, that the new leader remembers that small businesses are the biggest employer in the UK and that it is they that will take the UK firmly onto the road to recovery.

“The FSB is proud to be the only business organisation that is truly member-led, with the views of members fully-ensconced in policy decision making, and hopes to be able to give the new leader an insight into the life of a small firm and the issues they face at the Conference.”