FSB call for Budget relief
April 21, 2009
Since the 2008 Budget the UK economy has entered into a decline and small businesses have found themselves at the eye of the perfect storm.
Caught between contracting markets, late payments, increased business rates and a sharp decline in access to finance, many small businesses are struggling to survive. And some have failed.
Business rates are currently one of the overheads crippling small firms. Rates are the third highest cost for small firms. We are receiving letters and emails from our members telling us how the amount they are paying for business rates is impacting their business. We have made business rates a big part of our Budget Submission calling for a reform.
The Federation of Small Businesses is concerned that too many of these businesses were viable and that every day, healthy businesses go bust. Over the course of the last six months, the FSB has been instrumental in proposing practical solutions to the problems we now face. But we are only at the beginning of the process of tackling the recession.
Future economic growth, which will be required to pay for the UK’s soaring budget deficit, will be delivered by the millions of small businesses that form the backbone of our economy and it is therefore vital that the Government do all it can to help those businesses.
We have taken the view that talking the economy down by publishing doom and gloom surveys was not the way to go. Our approach involves being realistic about the situation and suggesting to the Government ideas and proposals that we feel will help.
The FSB’s Budget Submission seeks to tackle the key economic problems of our times. Where possible, our proposals to the Government are cost neutral. For example, releasing £400 million to help small businesses through automatic small business rates relief will not cost the Treasury a penny.
Small businesses in the UK employ 58 per cent of the UK’s private sector workforce. Together they contribute half of UK GDP and employ more than 12 million. The importance of the small business sector continues to grow, with 99 per cent of UK businesses employing fewer than 20 people. The FSB is urging the Government to deliver a budget that fully acknowledges this role and places the interests of small businesses at the heart of this country’s economic revival.
The FSB Budget Submission can be found at www.fsb.org.uk/thamesvalley.