The snap election is just days away, where the UK will decide which party will lead the country through what will be some of the nation’s most pivotal moments in recent history. I’m weighing in on what the victorious government needs to focus on to ensure the country’s 5.4 million small businesses are supported and continue to thrive.
A DAMAGE-LIMITING BREXIT FOR BUSINESS
Small or medium sized enterprises account for 99% of firms in the UK, generate 47% of revenue and employ 60% of the workforce. For these reasons and more, future small business success will dictate the success of our country as a whole. While we may have voted to leave the European Union, the resulting deal must be pro-business in order to limit the effect on the nation’s overall economy.
A SOLUTION TO THE LATE PAYMENT EPIDEMIC
More than half of UK business owners worry about unpaid invoices, spending 10% of their working day chasing payments on average. Poor cash flow is one of the main reasons why small businesses fail. While the Prompt Payment Code attempts to standardise payment practices, the problem is still rife and must be addressed.
CHANGES TO THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN THE UK
Philip Hammond’s U-turn on business rates following the most recent budget announcement shows that it continues to be a contentious topic. With the cost of doing business in the UK continuing to rise, it needs to become more affordable to give small businesses the best chance to thrive.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF TECH AS THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS
As the world becomes more digital by the day, the companies and institutions who don’t keep up are in danger of being left behind. London is currently the fintech capital of the world, so with Brexit and other factors looming, it’s vital that parties are addressing this revolution.
KEEPING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT ALIVE
As they start new endeavours, entrepreneurs need to feel supported. The success of their businesses will be the powerhouse driving economic success and is in the best interest of us all.
SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS THROUGH MAKING TAX DIGITAL
The roll-out of Making Tax Digital (MTD) in 2018 – HMRC’s initiative to completely digitise tax compliance and record keeping – will see British businesses enter the most significant period of change and uncertainty we’ve seen for several generations. The implementation signals the country’s inevitable digital future, and will prove a challenge for some businesses in the beginning. Parties need to recognise the importance of MTD, while ensuring minimal impact to the businesses that will find the transition more challenging.
No matter which party is elected, the result on the 8th June will dictate how the country is guided through tumultuous times. Small businesses will need to remain at the centre of the party’s decision-making to ensure a bright future for our economy.