Govt initiatives have not helped SMBs, owners claim

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Nine out of ten small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners believe recent government initiatives have done little to help their companies, a study has revealed.

Research conducted by Shelley Stock Hutter LLP found that the majority of firms are underwhelmed by the effects of the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, National Insurance Holiday, Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme and other coalition measures.

Some 61 per cent of respondents said they do not understand the benefits of recent initiatives - which may have a significant impact on their perception.

Bobby Lane, a partner at Shelley Stock Hutter LLP, said he was not surprised that there is little understanding of recent government initiatives.

"There have been a number of initiatives introduced for small businesses, but little supporting information or an education campaign to follow this up," he stated.

"As a result many small businesses are at sea as to how their business will gain and what steps have to be taken to benefit from the schemes."

Mr Lane said the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme has been "a great help" to some businesses, yet the scheme has received a lot of negative publicity over the past two years.

He claimed that if businesses were made aware of how to access the funding and go about it in the right way, there would be more successful applications.

“Ultimately for many businesses this could mean the difference between survival and growth," Mr Lane claimed.

"The answer is not to saturate the SMB marketplace with more initiatives but to make a concerted effort to provide more detailed information on existing schemes, the best way to access them along with the most appropriate way to finance their business.”

Posted by Dan Smith