The votes are in. The election is over. But what do SMEs want from our new Prime Minister?
We’ve scoured newspapers and press releases to find out some of the most common SME concerns and desires. Now that our country has a new leader, will small businesses get what they need?
First things first. While small and medium-sized companies are the economy’s backbone – of the UK’s 4.5m businesses, 99% are SMEs – it all too often feels like only massive firms get real representation. The new PM must make sure that this changes and should commit to fighting for the hardworking staff and owners of SMEs.
According to the Confederation of British Industry, the average SME is owed about £38,000 in late payments. Overall the late payment debt in the UK is estimated to be more than £30 billion. Our PM must make sure that this unfair practise is cracked down on, so SMEs are paid in a timely manner, with statutory penalties for persistent offenders.
In the last few months, the general public has heard horror stories of SMEs being bullied into ‘pay–to-stay’ deals by big companies – having to pay up in order to stay as approved suppliers. These fees can total millions of pounds and have been described as ‘blackmail’ by some SME owners. The government must make sure that these schemes are stopped and big companies trying it on are brought to book.
Small businesses are happy to pay their share of tax, but when it comes to multinational firms operating in the UK, the situation isn’t as simple. These companies have the power and money to hire the best advisors when it comes to legal tax avoidance schemes, giving them a competitive advantage.
Our PM has to ensure all businesses, regardless of size, pay the correct tax and that #HMRC doesn’t target SMEs because they’re easy prey.
SMEs across the UK have been struggling with #businessrates, sometimes to the point of going bust. If you want to encourage entrepreneurship, give these companies a chance to get a foothold.
The new government should take a serious look at business rate relief and other tax cuts and financial assistance, to help smaller businesses not just survive, but thrive.
SMEs have had a terrible time of getting #loans from banks. While alternative lenders, such as peer-to-peer outfits, have stepped into the breach, more needs to be done.
High street banks received a lot our of tax money under the promise that they’d lend more to #SMEs. The PM should make them stick to their commitments and make sure that the state-owned British Business Bank gets the funds it needs to help smaller companies.
There’s our round-up of some the top requests and requirements that SMEs have for our new political overlord. What do you want to see the PM do?
Previously on The Euroffice Blog…