Calls for Greater Government Support for Businesses

The Government isn’t doing enough to support small and medium sized businesses, according to a new survey of business owners.

The survey was conducted by Aldermore Bank, which is based in Peterborough and offers lending and saving services to both businesses and individuals. It found that only 21% of respondents think the current level of support from Government is sufficient.

A lot of the concerns expressed by business owners were around business finance support. Four-in-ten (40%) small businesses said they were aware of Government funded start-up loans, but only 6% said they had used them. Around 36% said they knew about grants for taking on apprentices, but only 4% said they had used them. And just over a quarter (27%) of those surveyed said they were aware of capital allowances for installing energy saving equipment, but only 5% had made use of the scheme.

When asked what kind of support they would like to be available, the vast majority of suggestions revolved around finance. More than half (53%) said a cash bonus to help start a business would be useful, four in ten (42%) said better tax incentives would help and 39% said they would like improved rates on business loans.

There was also support for the creation of an ‘Entrepreneur ISA’, targeted specifically at those looking to start their own business, and the idea of a ‘Small Business Savings Allowance’ that benefits the self-employed.

There does appear to be a genuine requirement for additional support: over half (54%) of businesses surveyed hold less than £1,000 in cash while 15% are experiencing cash flow problems. This suggests over 750,000 self-employed business owners across the UK are experiencing financial difficulty, say the researchers.

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