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According to a new study published less than three months before the general election, Britain’s small businesses have issued their manifesto for change to the leading political parties.
The study published today by SwitchMyBusiness.com, gives a snapshot of the struggles facing Britain’s small businesses, from butchers to internet start-ups, by asking them for their views on everything from late payments to workplace stress.
SwitchMyBusiness.com is a compare and switch service supporting small business owners and finding them the best energy prices for their business.
According to the research, a huge 93% of businesses want change from a new government and election when the country goes to the polls on 7 May 2015.
Figures from the Federation of Small Businesses show that at the start of 2014, small firms accounted for 99.3 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK.
Yet, a total of 40% of respondents of this latest study do not believe David Cameron understands their needs, with the Tories under increasing pressure to deliver for SMEs ahead of the general election.
A total of 34% want a reduction in business rates, while 21% want government help with utility bills, and 25% support the introduction of a loan scheme similar to the student loans scheme where businesses have a minimum period of 3 years before they need to start paying the loans back.
Some 22% want access to affordable superfast broadband in more areas of the UK, while 25% want harsher penalties for businesses that pay late.
In November, the government launched a consultation proposing that large and listed companies should be required to report statistics such as the average time it takes them to pay suppliers.
The SwitchMyBusiness.com study also found cashflow is the biggest problem for small businesses, with nearly a third saying they would look for an additional job to make ends meet if no changes are made to improve conditions for small businesses.
Being paid late is the second biggest problem for small businesses, with 31% saying it causes them issues, compared with 18% who said workplace stress was impacting their business.
Alarmingly, a total of 24% of small business owners feel that their business would survive less than six months, based on the current economic climate.
Fourteen per cent cited ability to pay suppliers and the cost of business rates as having a negative impact.
The study also found that of those businesses turning over less than £100k a year, 41.4% have skipped paying themselves more than once, while 27% of businesses with a turnover of between £100k and £1 million have also not paid themselves on many occasions.
Commenting on the research findings, CEO of SwitchMyBusiness.com Ivan McKeever said: “The picture from UK small business owners is clear; they want change from the government and they want more help. Small businesses are the forgotten younger brother of the big corporates and we want them to have a voice and get it heard. This is why we’ve put together the small business manifesto so as we head into election ‘promise’ season, the political parties will stand up and take notice.”
To coincide with the launch of the #whatbizwant manifesto, SwitchMyBusiness.com has also launched a competition for small businesses to win £300 in vouchers to be spent at Time etc for business admin support.
"Very easy. Bea Luseni very efficient & knowledgeable."This review was posted by Alan Duffy on the 31st of March 2017
Super helpful and easy to work with
"Recommend this company in a heartbeat - Nicole Borneuf was super easy to talk to, was not pushy in the slightest, very helpful and replied with all my questions very professionally and did all she could to help. I had to deal with a few companies to sort my business energy out, all but Nicole were too pushy for my liking and I refused to follow through with them. Thank Nicole - you are a credit to your company, thank you for making the stressful energy change so easy."This review was posted by Mia Drew on the 29th of March 2017
An Extremely Competent Company
"Switch my business has not only helped my SME secure a good energy deal for the second year running but Jessica swiftly found a alternative supplier for me when I was let down on the day of switching by the new contractual provider I had chosen some 4 months previously. Being suddenly out of contract and without provider is everyone's energy nightmare. Greatest thanks."This review was posted by S McMillan on the 29th of March 2017
Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!
"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017
Quick & Easy
"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017