The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has handed the UK government a Budget for Business Survival wish list that focuses on boosting business confidence and lifting the economy out of recession.
The FPB has urged the government to improve access to finance for small businesses, minimise the cost burdens on small businesses, protect employment and improve economic activity.
In the industry body’s latest quarterly Referendum survey, FPB members voted the restoration of business confidence (65 per cent) as the main issue that they want the government to address in this year’s budget.
Overall, 82 per cent of respondents fear taxation on SMEs will be increased.
Phil Orford, chief executive of the FPB, said: “Rebuilding confidence is key to ensuring that small businesses are able to survive and, ultimately, as the economy recovers, begin to grow again.
“That means workable policies creating the right conditions for both small businesses and consumers, which is why we are urging the government to implement short- and longer-term strategies to help bolster cash flow, remove costly barriers to growth, protect key staff and stimulate trade.”
He added: “At present, most business owners are receiving confusing messages from the government and the banks.”
Other priorities for SMEs that were identified in the survey included business rates (59 per cent), cost of utilities (52 per cent), minimising regulations (50 per cent) and taxation policies (49 per cent).
The 2009 Budget will be announced on 22 April.
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