A third of SMEs call for more business finance as Sunak sets July 4th -Together

by | May 26, 2024

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  • UK SMEs see better access to finance as top priority for six months post General Election
  • Support with rising costs and energy bills should also sit high on new Government agenda
  • Tax breaks and greater investment in business growth also key to securing the SME vote

Finger on the pulse research conducted this week by business lender Together, released in the 24 hours since Prime Minister called for General Election on 4th July finds that over a third (35%) of UK SME business leaders strongly believe that ensuring access to finance for the country’s wealth creators should be prioritised by the Government within the first six months of the new Parliament.

A third (33%) of this group – which now accounts for three-fifths of the UK workforce and around half of turnover in the UK private sector – believe more investment in the SME growth sector is also vital with 39% demanding better facilitation of tax breaks to support enterprise.

Rishi Sunak’s surprise announcement comes as falling inflation and rising GDP suggest the economy could be turning a corner, although SMEs are still facing huge pressure  when it comes to  fuel and staffing costs.

 
 

Indeed, almost half (49%) of UK SMEs are calling for the Government to prioritise help with rising costs and energy bills within the first six months following the General Election, according to Together’s research.

Less immediate – but still of importance for over a quarter (26%) of SMEs – would be for the new Government regime to address the removal of red tape to improve business applications this year. A fifth (21%) want support with labour/ hiring issues in the near-term too.

Ryan Etchells, Chief Commercial Officer at Together, said: “The wealth-creating SME sector will be carefully weighing up all pledges from Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer before deciding where to place their vote on July 4th.

 
 

“Though a fall inflation has heralded some good news for the sector, it is clear from our research that many SME leaders are seeking more resources and support to facilitate their growth.  This situation needs to be urgently addressed in the form of concrete plans for the business community and this will surely be a central plank of all parties’ election promises.

“Funding for SMEs is available through specialist lenders such as Together but what is clear is that there needs to be a concerted effort, across Government, policymakers and lenders, working together to really support businesses, creating the right environment required for the UK economy to flourish in the long term.”

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