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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.
"Lorraine, the agent who attended to me, was extremely efficient and professional. The quotations obtained were very competitive and presented in an easily understandable format. All queries were attended to and replies forthcoming speedily. As a representative of the organisation, I could only present the proposals I obtained and, unfortunately, the committee elected to use another company. From my point of view, Lorraine made my task to gather all relevant details very easy and her attitude was professional and courteous throughout. I have no reservations in recommending SmB to other businesses who seek to change energy suppliers."This review was posted by Two Locks Church on the 20th of March 2018
Can not recommend highly enough
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"thanks Mr Pamwan Johnson excellent service"This review was posted by kashif ahmad on the 19th of March 2018
Mark Weeks was very helpful
"Mark Weeks was very helpful, even though in the end the difference was so little that we decided not to switch, Would defiantly recommend Switch my Business."This review was posted by Ann Manson on the 19th of March 2018