By Mike Cherry, Director of Policy, Federation of Small Businesses
The UK’s five million small businesses are the engine room of the UK economy.
Reliable digital connectivity is critical for small businesses. FSB research found 99 per cent of small firms rate the internet as highly important to their business.
Skills are key to boosting workplace productivity. Small firms that have access to the right skills for their business are more likely to generate higher economic returns, innovate and grow.
- Late payment is a big issue for small businesses. Not being paid in a timely manner can reduce profitability, cause cash flow problems and can contribute to some businesses closing.
Today small businesses account for 99.3 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK and employ over 25 million people. They are the engine room of our economy. Confidence and ambition has now returned and many FSB members look to invest, create jobs and grow their businesses. However, many challenges lie ahead.
There is a clear need for the Government to continue to support small businesses and ensure the landscape supports firms of all sizes; we need small and micro firms to prosper. And that means delivering appropriate policy. Put simply, business needs help to get the right finance, to skill-up the workforce and access new markets.
In addition, a solid infrastructure to support ambition and enterprise is crucial. In fact, it is an absolutely vital precondition if small businesses are to succeed. For example, they need reliable, universal high speed broadband that allows them to promote and sell their goods and services to potentially huge customer bases outside the UK.
Businesses can’t survive alone. They need help and guidance from government to succeed amid a fragile global economy and an uncertain future in the EU. Clearly, small and medium sized businesses play a key role in our economy and their continuing success is vital to building the UK economy.
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