By Maximilian Clarke
A survey of small businesses, suggests that 7 in 10 business owners do not feel that the Government is doing enough to help them despite the fact that the ‘Start-up Britain’ initiative places start-ups and small firms at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery.
According to the research, commissioned by skilledpeople.com, small businesses want to see a range of changes to help them grow. Nearly half would like to see more flexible employment laws introduced; 38 per cent would like to see business rates reduced; 30per cent would like the Government to introduce lower levels of corporation tax, while 29 per cent of business owners want to see the Government provide tax breaks to employ unemployed people.
Staff shortage and employment difficulties repeatedly cropped up in the research findings. Of the 20 per cent of firms surveyed who indicated they had received an order or request for a short term project in the past year but had been concerned that their business would be unable to deliver, 80 per cent gave capacity issues or skills shortages as reasons for this.
Worryingly, many small businesses have limited ambition to win large contracts and compete against bigger companies. Around 27 per cent say they would not compete against a large competitor as ‘it’s not worth their time’ and 10 per cent cite skills gaps as the reason why they can’t compete effectively.
“With the economic clouds darkening once again, it is an urgent priority that Government supports the small business community by providing the tools and infrastructure to enable the enterprises to grow,” David Hiddleston, Chairman of skilledpeople.com.
The research was conducted by Opinium Research, who interviewed 311 UK small business (sole traders to businesses with up to 49 employees) owners, partners and senior decision makers.
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