New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the contribution of non-financial businesses to the UK economy grew 3.9 per cent to £1.2 trillion in the year to 2016. Almost all (99.6 per cent) of these firms are small businesses.
The number of small non-financial firms grew 9 per cent to 2.4 million over the year.
Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman, said: “Ahead of the Autumn Budget, these stats serve as a timely reminder that the success of the UK economy depends on its small businesses.
“The Chancellor needs to consider how he’ll help further increase the staggering contribution of small firms. Against a backdrop of rising prices, flagging consumer demand and Brexit uncertainty, small business owners are in need of lifelines at the Budget.
“Small firms are looking for an end to the business rates chaos that’s engulfed them over the last seven months. That starts with bringing forward CPI-indexation to 2018 and ending the ridiculous staircase tax.
“Off the back of a delay to the abolition of Class II National Insurance contributions, we need a Budget that works for the self-employed. An extension of public sector IR35 tax legislation to the private sphere will make an already challenging environment worse.
“The last thing small firms need is new tax grabs and loss of entrepreneurial reliefs at the Budget. No doubt the Treasury will avoid biting the hand that feeds it.”