Small firms slam local government business support

The majority of small business owners in the UK believe that local government business support does not support their requirements.

According to a survey from Company Check, 70% of owners said they were unhappy with the level of support provided, a figure that has risen from 60% a year ago.

Businesses revealed a wide array of concerns but added that the assistance available from the government was worsening.

Concerns around the economy were found to be the largest cause of anxiety for small business owners, although just 14% said the economy was a challenge.

More firms are expected to grow in the year ahead too, with nearly three quarters of owners reporting that they have plans in place for expansion.

A third of owners listed political factors as concerns too, and while that is to be expected according to the report’s author Kate Deverill, it is the growing dissatisfaction with local authorities that comes as a surprise.

The report noted a mixed response to November’s Autumn Statement, Phillip Hammond’s first as Chancellor, and quoted the Forum of Private Businesses in saying that the moves were not enough to support small firms.

A lack of support and guidance carries the risk of poor business of financial decisions being made, which could threaten growth plans or the longevity of a firm.

Firms that have issues with bad debts or lost contracts could still find themselves in difficulty, even when profitable – in such instances, a CVA could be a viable solution.

These flexible solutions can be adapted to meet a range of needs while a business should look to ensure it is aware of all available options in order to find the best outcome.

Despite the concerns listed, several key sectors recorded solid growth in the final months of 2016, with the services industry recording its best growth rate for 18 months in December.

Manufacturing and construction indexes from Markit also suggested growth for the final month of last year, but not to the same extend.

By Phil Smith

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