SMEs believe simplified tax system could boost UK exports

Small businesses in the UK believe that a simplified tax system will play a vital role in encouraging greater export growth.


Some 87% of SMEs questioned by Western Union Business Solutions for their International Trade Monitor revealed they thought such an approach would help them achieve success.


All companies taking part were involved in international trading and were welcoming of any methods that might aid export potential.


Greater tax relief and better access to credit were also named by 81% and 68% of companies respectively as moves which could support them in the future.


Confidence in the economy


Despite calls for a simplified system, confidence in the UK’s economic climate remains high at 84% while 90% of firms believe the recent improvements are sustainable.


Nearly two thirds of businesses are planning to invest too, a 10% increase on the number of those who were considering doing likewise a year ago.


However, nearly half of firms reported rising costs of business operations, highlighting the need to carefully manage finances to stay out of trouble.


Some firms said they would increase their prices to combat this increase, while business turnaround options could provide an alternative solution, especially for those facing more severe financial issues.


Growth opportunities


International trade conditions are also supportive of growth in the eyes of many small businesses, as more than a quarter of SME business revenue now comes from exports.


A fifth of SMEs now export to China, up 15% from the final quarter of last year, while European deals remain consistent.


India is viewed as a market for potential growth too as it develops rapidly – 10% of firms believe the country offers the best export opportunities.


Most UK small businesses see the coming 12 months as an opportunity to expand overseas operations but many have also suggested they will exercise caution, so as not to rush into any new deals too quickly.


Doing new business overseas could help to offset any issues relating to rising operations costs, but prior research is paramount to ensure the best chances of success.


By Phil Smith


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