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08 February 2012

Chancellor urged to turn small steps into giant leaps for small firms to grow

Reference number: PR/2012/04

FSB News Release

PR 2012 04

Chancellor urged to turn small steps into giant leaps for small firms to grow

The National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), speaking tonight at the FSB''s Annual Dinner said that the Government''s tentative steps in the right direction need to become a giant leap if firms are to see genuine change in their business.

Addressing the Chancellor, George Osborne MP, who was guest speaker at the event, National Chairman, John Walker urged him to press ahead with actions that have already been promised to create a better environment for small businesses to grow, as we approach the Budget.

Mr Walker said:

"The Autumn Statement was a step in the right direction for small firms and we welcomed the seed investment scheme – to encourage investment in small businesses from sources other than the banks. This is critical at the moment given the problems that members are still facing getting credit from high street banks.

"But firms have yet to benefit from credit easing, still find themselves locked out of public procurement contracts and risk being unable to access the Green Deal when it is introduced in the autumn. We urge the Chancellor to keep up the pressure and be more ambitious in helping our members to grow, create jobs and flourish.

"Confidence levels fell dramatically in 2011 and our ‘Voice of Small Business'' Index ended the year at its lowest ever level. We are hopeful that the pressure from high inflation will ease as 2012 continues and that confidence will return. But, it is clear that small firms need to see action that has a direct impact on their day-to-day business if they are to grow and invest and give job opportunities to the unemployed, and especially for our younger workers to really get the recovery on a firm track.

"Ultimately, the business community will judge Government on its actions rather than its words. The best way for the Government to demonstrate its business credentials is to knuckle down and get on with implementing an ambitious agenda for growth."  

ENDS