The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on the chancellor to use the spring Budget to focus on enterprise and encourage small business growth.
As economic recovery builds, more small firms are looking to grow and the FSB is urging the government to create the right environment to meet these aspirations.
Recommendations by the FSB include:
- the government should implement reforms of key markets such as banking and energy to improve competition and transparency;
- business support schemes for small firms should be more relevant and focused;
- the tax system should be reformed to support enterprise.
The FSB has welcomed the Employment Allowance and the pledge to cut red tape but says momentum for pro-enterprise policies needs to be maintained. Decisions around the level of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will also be important, it says – any changes to the NMW must be based on the decision of the Low Pay Commission and rises must be sensitive to economic conditions and the ability of firms to increase pay.
The FSB is also calling on the chancellor to boost Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) – which play an important role in providing finance to small firms that are not able to access bank finance.
John Allan, FSB national chairman, said: "FSB research continues to show increased confidence across all sectors and notably in members' investment and employment intentions. With the recovery underway it is important that businesses begin to feel the measures already announced are having a positive effect on their business. This is why the chancellor should look at 'focus and delivery' for initiatives already announced to create long-term growth."
He added: "The FSB has welcomed the government's recent moves to support employment, notably the Employment Allowance and a pledge to cut red tape. The focus now needs to be on addressing fundamental structural issues. Getting more competition and transparency in key sectors such as energy and financial services will greatly help small firms."