By Daniel Hunter
Following the result of the 2015 general election, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has compiled a list of what small businesses want from the new, all-Conservative government.
The survey found that a third (35%) of small businesses want a sustained economic recovery to be the top priority for the new Conservative government in the next parliament.
Other important priorities for business owners were lowering the cost of doing business and ensuring growth in every nation and region of the UK, not just London and the south east.
When asked what issues they would like the government to focus on over the next five years, more than half (53%) said they want ministers to reduce the regulatory burden on business, with simplification of the tax system a close second on 51%. Business owners were also clear that reforming business rates and improving the employability of young people were important benchmarks for the next five years.
As part of the survey, FSB members were also asked to say how confident they are the new Government will deliver for small businesses. Many appeared positive with half (51%) saying they are either confident or very confident. However, with over a quarter (28%) claiming to be either unconfident or very unconfident.
Top ten issues small businesses want new Government to focus on in next five years:
- Reduce regulatory burden (53%)
- Introduce a more simplified tax system (51%)
- Reform business rates (44%)
- Improve the employability skills of young people (41%)
- Deliver improved broadband / mobile connectivity (39%)
- Help UK small businesses to create more jobs (34%)
- Tackle late payments (33%)
- Lower energy costs for businesses (30%)
- Ensure better access to finance (28%)
- Increase investment in infrastructure (26%)
Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman of FSB, said: “This response from FSB members shows first and foremost businesses want stability and certainty. This requires putting public finances on a sound footing, and then for ministers to give a comprehensive vision for how they will support enterprise followed by a clear timetable for when they will deliver it.
“Today’s wide ranging research sends a very clear message on what small businesses want from the new Government — a supportive, light touch tax and regulatory environment in which to grow their business, creating prosperity and jobs.
“Over the five years of this Parliament, our member’s top priorities are to lighten the burdens of regulation and tax, reform broken business rates, support the development and skills of young people, and improve broadband and mobile connectivity. We look forward to meeting with Ministers to discuss how we can help make this happen and continue to foster the economic conditions which allow enterprise to flourish.”