Small businesses must be at the heart of the chancellor’s Budget, says FSB

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) wants a Budget for small firms that will give opportunities for investment, growth and job creation and return confidence to SMEs.

The FSB has called for incentives to take on new staff and for the chancellor to announce a review of how enterprise support is delivered through central and local government, to ensure support is focused and effective.

FSB national chairman, John Walker, says small firms have ambition and want to grow, but they consistently cite finance and access to long-term capital as key barriers:

“The chancellor needs to put clear plans in place for the business bank. Not only should he set out the role that the new institution will have in getting finance to small firms, he should also show how the bank will help to open up competition in the banking sector and encourage non-bank sources of finance.”

To bolster efforts to increase competition, the FSB is urging the Government to ensure the Financial Conduct Authority focuses on this aspect of their remit with the aim of encouraging new entrants into the market, so that small firms have more choice.

The FSB also wants to see work being done to simplify the tax system is not watered down. The current proposal to allow small firms with a turnover of less than £77,000 to provide cash-based accounts is a major deregulatory step, and one the FSB believes will increase compliance. The FSB would also like to see existing schemes for investment relief pooled together in a simple one-stop-shop so that small firms know where to go for capital to invest in their business.

John adds that small Business Rates Relief should be made permanent in England, as some small businesses pay more in business rates than they do in rent: “The FSB is also calling for a review on how business rates are calculated, moving the indexation from RPI to CPI in line with other areas of government policy.”

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