New research has revealed that small businesses in the UK think simplifying the current tax system and providing greater tax relief for exporters should be the top priorities for government policy changes following the General Election 2015 result.

The Western Union Business Solutions International Trade Monitor (ITM), a quarterly economic confidence survey, questioned more than 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses that traded goods or services internationally.

Enabling greater access to credit/finance was another key demand highlighted by SME business leaders.

Confidence in economy and international trade conditions is high

While there’s clearly an appetite for improvement in government policy, this survey signified that overall confidence was high.

Around 84% of businesses questioned are feeling confident in the current climate, which has largely been attributed to improvements in macroeconomic conditions over the last 12 to 18 months. Aside from this, almost 90 percent of SMEs believe this confidence in the domestic economy is sustainable.

When it comes to international trade conditions, 91% felt confident in the first quarter of 2015 compared with 87% in the previous few months.

More than a quarter of SMEs’ revenue is made through exporting and, with the number of businesses importing to China on the increase and 78% exporting to Europe, a continued rise is expected.

India is another lucrative market that Britain’s businesses are setting their sights on for the future.

Tony Crivelli, UK Managing Director of Western Union Business Solutions, said:

“SMEs are seeking new customers in the growth markets of China and India. Both of these markets represent two of the largest growing middle classes across the globe.

“Expanding into these markets is not without risk; SMEs would be wise to implement robust risk management strategies in order to manage exchange-rate volatility when sending or receiving international payments to remain competitive in the global market.”