With the upcoming Autumn Statement, the UK’s smaller sized businesses are urging the government to provide help as trading conditions remain challenging for SMEs.
Responding to the latest ONS figures that show a 0.2% drop in GDP in Q3 2022, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Martin McTague, said, “Confirmation of a shrinking economy is dreadful news for small businesses that have been facing increasing recessionary pressures for months now.
“Lower levels of reserves and resources mean they are more vulnerable to downturns, and at a time when confidence is deteriorating in both consumers and businesses, the outlook for the UK economy is now very bleak indeed.
“Coming out of pandemic-era lockdowns, this was supposed to be the period when the economic recovery would start to motor, with the small business community leading the way. Following the global financial crisis, nine out of ten people moving back into employment did so through working for a small business, or setting themselves up as one by starting their self-employed career.”
McTague added, “But with a contraction of the small business community of nearly half a million small firms over 2020 and 2021, the strong indications that we are in recession could lead to many further losses, with established outfits sadly having to shut up shop, and entrepreneurs’ good ideas staying on the drawing board.
“Fewer small businesses and start-ups means lower growth, lower employment, and lost tax revenues for the Government – a vicious circle of decline that must be averted, rather than managed.
“Without growth measures, Thursday’s Autumn Statement could be about balancing the Government’s books on the backs of small businesses – an approach that will simply not work, with so many already teetering on the edge.
“The Chancellor and Prime Minister must include measures to kickstart the economy, and get it growing again, to stem the loss of small businesses, and give them an operating environment that will allow them to get through a tough winter, and then flourish in the spring.”
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