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British SMEs Want More Government Support

Just Eight Per Cent Of SMEs Feel They Are Getting Enough Help


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK want to take advantage of the ongoing economic recovery by exploring different international markets, but many feel they are being let down by the government.

A new study conducted by global technology company blur Group showed that a mere eight per cent of startup organisations think the authorities are doing enough to help them expand.

Around 44 per cent of the survey respondents claimed they did not know what the government was doing to support greater export activity.

The research underlined the fact that the UK's economy has improved steadily over the past few months and 74 per cent of SMEs suggested that global competition is increasing. More than one in three businesses said the lack of support from the coalition is the biggest obstacle in the way of international expansion.

Approximately two-thirds of those polled said the introduction of a designated small business minister - whose main task would be to aid SMEs in their quest to move into new markets - is necessary.

Chief executive at the blur Group Philip Letts believes that urgent action is required.

"These independent findings demonstrate a very definite call to arms from the UK small business communities - the government must be doing more to support the growth of SMEs across international borders, or they will fall by the wayside," he remarked.

"We have a thriving SME industry in the UK … but the government is letting them all down if it doesn't give them platforms for growth."

The next few years will be crucial to startups that have thus far been blighted by the global financial crisis.

A new report by the Confederation of British Industry suggested the UK's economy will expand by 2.6 per cent in 2015. Even so, the organisation's director of economics Stephen Gifford warned that companies looking to explore new markets face many challenges, particularly in the eurozone, which is continuing to evolve.

This underlines the fact that SMEs need as much help as possible from the British government.

Expert Opinion
The creation and growth of innovative new small businesses is critical to the future of the UK economy and we have long been advocates of the need for more to be done to ensure such companies get the support they need to evolve and thrive.

"This research and other recent reports have indicated that SMEs do not feel fully aware of what incentives and schemes are out there to help them achieve their growth ambitions – particularly in terms of their options in reaching out to international markets.

"We would urge the government to ensure that such concerns are tackled quickly so that all smaller firms are able to meet their true potential. We would also urge any SMEs which harbour growth ambitions to seek specialist legal advice to ensure they have everything in place to expand and develop their offerings."
Steven Beahan, Partner