The government has talked a lot about small businesses in the last four years but has done very little to actually help them. Chief executive of Simply Business, Jason Stockwood, tells Rachel Bridge “They have talked a lot but done very little”
He said “The government’s promises to small businesses are a lot of hot air. There have been a lot of good ideas but they haven’t coalesced into anything that has genuinely supported small businesses. When this government came in I thought they had some interesting ideas but they just seem to have fizzled out. Our small business customers say that nothing much has changed”.
Stockwood has said that there are 3 key areas that the government could have improved for small businesses. This includes easing the tax burden for businesses in the last 3 years of trading, introducing tighter regulation around payment terms, particularly for big firms paying small ones, and making it easier for small firms to take on employees.
“They have talked a lot but done very little”
He added “What people really care when they are trying to grow a business is when they will get paid, how much tax they will have to pay and how difficult it will be to take on employees. If the government really believes that 95% of the economy is driven by small businesses, then they should be focusing on getting them through the first three years and giving more of them a chance to flourish.”
Stockwood joined the firm as chief executive four years ago. He said “The government’s rhetoric is all about small businesses being the heartland of the economy and the way to get the economy growing, but I have seen no real evidence in the past four years to suggest that the government is doing anything to support this. Instead the government has focused all its energy and attention on other areas, such as the technology sector, which only accounts for a very small proportion of total small businesses and does not create jobs to the extent that other small businesses can”.
“There was a lot of talk early on by the government about easing the burden on small businesses but in reality business owners have found themselves in exactly the same situation.”