By Daniel Hunter

Small businesses in the UK say reducing red tape and improving incentives for investment should be the top priorities for the new government, according to a new study from Lloyds Bank.

The findings show that over half of small and medium-sized enterprises (51%) believe that reducing red tape should at the top of the to-do list for the new government, while over two fifths (42%) say that better incentives to invest are needed.

The third highest priority cited by businesses nationwide included action to tackle the skills gap through more vocational education such as apprenticeships.

Tim Hinton, Managing Director, Mid Markets and SME Banking, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Small and medium sized businesses have clear views on what the new government’s priorities should be, to help with their growth ambitions.

“Businesses have welcomed the government’s recent commitment to cut red tape and they recognise it as a priority. However they will want reassurance that their concerns about skills, investment and exports will also be addressed."