The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has called on George Osborne to focus on four key areas to support business when he delivers his Budget this week, all aimed at growing the contribution from smaller companies to the overall UK economy.
Ian Cass, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, said: "We would like the Chancellor to do all he can to improve confidence, encourage investment, and make it simple and more profitable to run a small business."
• Further moves on cutting the costs of red tape, through the integration of tax administration as part of the BIS deregulation agenda, removing duplication of compliance requirements across government departments, and making administrative compliance more proportionate for smaller firms.• A reduction in the costs of doing business, specifically looking at how the impact of the pensions auto-enrolment and national minimum wage costs can be minimised for small businesses. Moves to save time and money in complying with tax legislation, and making the costs of business rates more conducive to the value businesses get from having a property are also areas for attention.
• Improving access to finance and financial product transparency, through the extension of APR comparisons to more financial products, retaining bank branches, and pressure from the Small Business Commissioner to eradicate the late payment problem.
• Moves to encourage investment and support sustainable growth, by increasing the dividend allowance and making more money available for specialist training.
Launching the wish list, Ian Cass emphasised the importance of the small business sector to the overall economy.
"UK small businesses are a vital part of our overall economy," he said, "and we are keen that the Chancellor seizes the opportunity now, as we exit the recession, to make the environment one in which businesses can genuinely thrive and grow."