With the Autumn Statement taking place later today, SMEs are urging Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to act now to save thousands of pubs, cafés and small shops.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling for the government to focus on tackling SME issues, such as rising rates bills and late payments.
FSB Policy and Advocacy Chair Tina McKenzie, explained, “Thousands of pubs, cafes and small shops face sky rocketing business rates bills unless Jeremy Hunt acts at the Autumn Statement. We are at a crossroads for the future of our economy. Real life businesses need a platform to power through troubled times.
“Government is about choices and the Chancellor must concentrate his firepower where it can do the most good – small firms and the 16 million jobs they support. The prize for getting this right is massive.
“Small firms face huge inflation-linked increases to the so-called Small Business Multiplier in April – worse, this is timed to coincide with the scheduled withdrawal of tax support to the high street. Big retailers have already gotten a rates bonus from the last revaluation, but small firms have had an incredibly bruising few years and want to see a hopeful message from Government.”
Tina added, “Large businesses, from supermarket giants to huge public sector contractors must stop using their small suppliers as cash cows. Training must be encouraged, not penalised, by HMRC. The Chancellor has a chance to build long-term prosperity as well as shore up our economic defences.
“The Autumn Statement is the key moment for Parliament to stand up for the small firms across the country who work hard, pay a fortune in taxes, and provide the jobs our communities need. Small firms will be watching and hoping that the Chancellor delivers what the country needs. Jeremy Hunt must seize the moment.
“The prize if the Chancellor gets this right is massive. Small businesses have an amazing capacity to grow, expand and generate the increases in living standards that everyone across our country needs. Combining stability with prosperity is the key. The UK economy has proved time and time again that it is resilient. With the right Government approach, we cannot just get through difficult times, but secure a positive more prosperous future for all of our local communities and the businesses that make them what they are.”
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