Supporting better finances, cutting the cost of compliance, reducing the cost of doing business and supporting sustainable business growth are the four main areas focused on in the manifesto, with suggested milestones to be achieved laid out for the start, mid-term and end of parliament.
Phil Orford, Chief Executive of the Forum of Private Business, said: “The picture may be a lot brighter than it was in 2010, and business confidence may be starting to return, but our members want to see a future government support small firms, the engine room of the UK economy, by providing the right mix of freedom, intervention and support, so we can build on the recovery and ensure sustainable growth.
“However, there is still a lot of work to be done in order to address some of the underlying issues in the UK economy. Hitting the government’s target of doubling UK exports to £1tn a year by 2020 will be no mean feat, while addressing skills shortages will be vital for the future growth of key sectors in the UK economy.”
Statistics highlight key areas where small businesses are struggling
Each section in the manifesto is supported by statistics illustrating how small businesses are being affected by issues within these areas.
For example, late payments were highlighted as a major problem costing small firms £9.2 billion a year, while the cost of compliance rose by £713 per business in 2013 and 2014.
Increases in general running costs has also had a huge impact, with 65% of small businesses reporting increases in staff costs and 42% saying that business rates are affecting their ability to grow.
Read the complete Manifesto for Small Businesses for further details on this campaign.