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The State Of The UK’s Small Businesses: What Do MPs Think?

Informi was set up as a one stop shop where people can go to get information and guidance, and find advice and tools to help start and run a business. We don’t believe that enough information and resource is available to help small business owners, and it is our intention to help fill that gap. And speaking to the powers that be in Westminster, it seems that we’re not alone in that viewpoint.

This month Informi released the results of a survey of Members of Parliament across all sides of the House of Commons, on what they think about the current SME landscape in the UK.  

The first thing we found is that almost four in five MPs (79%) believe that people thinking about starting a new business, and even those who have been operating a business for a number of years, need more information advice and guidance. Starting your own business is not an easy task. For many people they might find themselves with an idea, but with no clue of how to take that idea and turn it into a successful business. It is good to see that MPs agree that entrepreneurs should receive as much help as possible, and more than is currently available.

The second major finding from the MP survey is that a staggering 85% believe there needs to be a big increase in the number of SMEs who export for the UK to fulfil its potential as a trading nation. With the Brexit starting gun to be fired next week  by Prime Minister Theresa May, many small businesses will need to look at whether exporting will help give them some stability in what could be an uncertain future for the economy. The government can help these businesses in their efforts to export by ensuring that even after we leave the European Union, strong new trading deals are created with nations both inside and outside the EU.

Whether you started a new business yesterday or have been heading up multiple businesses for years, it’s clear that there is a wider requirement for the ability to receive independent help and advice. That’s exactly why the Informi site was launched in 2016 as an additional source of information on a range of issues relevant to small business leaders.

Other results from our survey include that:

  • 71% of MPs believe that the inequalities between SMEs and larger business are a cause for concern and should be addressed by Government intervention.
  • 70% of MPs believe that the amount of time and money SMEs spend on dealing with the tax system seriously impacts upon their ability to invest and create jobs.
  • 63% of MPs either strongly or somewhat agree that Government plans to make Britain’s tax system the most digitally advanced in the world by 2020 (Making Tax Digital) will have a positive impact on SMEs.

It is useful to hear the thoughts of the country’s MPs on small businesses and the environment they are working in at the moment. We will do our best to ensure that the Government will continue to bear small businesses in mind when creating policy, to ensure that they are given the best chance to succeed.

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I’ve been working through the how to start a business in 20 days ebook and so many of the things I’d done are now nicely tied together and some gaps now filled. I love the simplicity. Thank you.

Sarah Gosling – Gosling Charity Consulting