As the UK enters its worst recession on record, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling for the “most pro-business Budget ever”.
Responding to new figures which show that the UK has officially suffered a recession, and its trade deficit widened to £8.6 billion in Q2 of this year, FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said: “Small firms make up 99% of our business community and we won’t recover from this incredibly sharp recession unless they’re firing on all cylinders.
“Every policy change from here on in needs to be carefully assessed for its potential to create jobs, spur growth and increase productivity.
“We need the most pro-business, pro-self-employed Budget ever this autumn, one that lowers the costs of innovating and bringing great goods and services to market and eschews tax rises.
“We’ve had welcome measures to aid business survival and job retention, the Government should now be focussing on measures to aid business and job creation.
“A cut to employer national insurance contributions, backing for the New Enterprise Allowance and Start-Up Loans Programme, ambitious investment in our infrastructure – not least broadband – networks, taking more small firms out of the regressive business rates system and ending a worsening £23 billion late payment crisis are all a must.
“More than a million firms have now taken on bounce back loans to see them through this incredibly challenging period. They now need a guarantee that they won’t have to start paying them back until they’re making a profit. Such an assurance will encourage them to invest and expand today, rather than hoarding cash for fear of what’s coming down the line.
“In four months’ time the UK will transition to its new relationship with the EU but we still have no idea what that relationship will look like. When EU-UK talks resume on Monday, we need to see negotiators on all side accelerating their efforts to agree a pro-business deal in acknowledgement of the fact that time is of the essence.
“It’s been encouraging to see UK efforts to strike new trade deals. It’s critical that any new UK free trade agreements include a dedicated small business chapter spelling out exactly how each deal will protect and promote the interests of the UK’s 5.8 million small businesses.”