In my role as chair of English Policy Unit of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), today we are calling on election candidates from all major parties to help small businesses and the self-employed get on the right footing for recovery.
We are asking politicians to commit to a three-point plan to spur recovery amongst the small business community:
- Get the grants out quickly – funding for small businesses is still not getting to those that need it. Local authorities should be pulling out all the stops to make this happen. Mayoral candidates should be working to ensure councils across the region get the grants out quickly, fairly and consistently.
- Get customers back safely – it has been an unbelievably tough year for small firms and now more than ever they need support. Candidates should commit to exploring innovative and collaborative initiatives across the region to encourage people to back their local small firms and high streets.
- Get bills paid promptly – the pandemic has only worsened the late payments crisis. We are calling on candidates to ensure small firms, supply chains and the self-employed are paid within 30 days, on time, every time.
FSB’s latest Small Business Index survey showed business confidence in the UK is on the rise, at +27.3 in Q1 of this year, with almost two thirds (58%) of small firms expecting their performance to improve this quarter.
Acting on the three-point pledge will help ensure this confidence grows amongst the small business community, bolstering the economy both locally and across the country.
FSB is also calling for action to help jumpstart the housebuilding sector post-Covid and investigate the impact the pandemic has had on female-led businesses.