Big hopes for Small Business bill, say SMEs

Eighty per cent of SMEs believe that the government’s new Small Business bill will provide them with greater access to funding, according to research from private equity firm Key Capital Partners.

The latest ‘Growth Panel’ report, which surveys 100 UK SMEs, revealed that 95 per cent of small businesses emphatically back the proposals, which provide new hopes for funding growth. The companies surveyed were also in favour of a number of specific measures in the bill, including plans to provide more direct interaction with the government and preventative measures on ‘pre-pack’ deals.

The Small Business bill was introduced to Parliament by the government in June this year, and aims to tackle a number of problems faced by SMEs such as access to finance, cheque clearing and business expansion overseas. It is scheduled for implementation next year.

This is the latest in a series of attempts by the government to improve access to funding for SMEs.

The Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme, for example, is designed to provide businesses with greater access to finance. Although the scheme has seen a recent downturn, the Small Business bill demonstrates the commitment to revitalising growth for SMEs.

Despite initial concerns, 60 per cent of SMEs also believe that the Small Business bill adequately addresses the problem of late payments, an issue that has become a key concern for SMEs in recent years.

However, over half felt that more could be done to help business, with additional tax breaks and government-backed training measures for staff being a potential solution. 

Peter Armitage, Partner at Key Capital Partners, said: “SMEs have often struggled with accessing the finance necessary to maximise growth, and up to this point they have received little in the way of assistance from the government.

“However, our results show that the measures in the Small Business bill are a step in the right direction. With the government now standing firmly behind SMEs, growth continues to be a talking point for many businesses.”

Andrew Wass, managing director of Gear4music, said: “Having experienced rapid growth since securing investment from KCP in March 2012, we know how important accessing finance is for SMEs.

“The Small Business Bill has our collective backing, and hopefully we will see an increase in investment in the UK’s smaller businesses in the coming years.”

Peter Armitage


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