New Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) research shows broadband investment is a top priority for firms
Small firms throw weight behind government pledges following election
- New Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) research shows broadband investment is a top priority for firms
- Delivering an uprating of the Employment Allowance and end to the late payment crisis also flagged as critical
- Small businesses in England stress need for local road investment and business rates reform
Small firms have voiced their support for a string of Conservative Party election commitments in a fresh FSB survey of 1,500 UK firms conducted in the wake of this month’s vote.
The new government’s pledge to invest £5 billion in broadband connectivity has met with a particularly warm reception, with seven in ten (69%) small firms saying that the guaranteeing of gigabit broadband would have a moderately positive (35%) or very positive (34%) impact on their business. Among firms based in rural areas, the figure rises to 72%.
The pledge to uprate the Employment Allowance – a discount on national insurance bills available to small employers – from £3,000 to £4,000 is also hugely popular, with two thirds (65%) of small employers seeing its introduction as a positive step.
Elsewhere, well over half of small firms (61%) expect the appointment of a new Small Business Commissioner with additional powers to tackle late payments to positively impact their business.
Across England, 64% of small firms believe Conservative promises to reform business rates and extend the retail discount will have positive impacts if delivered. An even higher proportion (70%) expect commitments to invest in local roads and put £2 billion towards mending potholes to impact them positively.
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “We’ve secured a raft of pledges from this new government aimed at reinjecting confidence into the small business community. It’s now time to turn kind words into action.
“In business as in life, you can’t run before you can walk. Small firms need the infrastructure fundamentals in place – particularly functioning broadband and local roads – before they can reach new clients, expand and achieve their full potential. That’s why it’s so encouraging to see this new administration committing wholeheartedly to investment in these areas.
“Business rates reform, support with employment costs and an end to our late payment crisis are also vital. The small business community has been gripped by pessimism for more than a year now. Stopping the rot will require swift action on these three key fronts.”