Call for More Small Business Support As UK Productivity Flatlines
British Business Bank has said that supporting small business exports and innovation will add £1.15bn to Britain’s economy
Increasing support for small and medium business exports and innovation could be the answer to Britain’s low productivity levels, research by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) and the British Business Bank (BBB) has found.
According to the report, entitled Unlocking UK Productivity, if an estimated 110,000 small and medium-sized firms had the support to expand overseas they could add £1.15bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy.
The findings from the report follow recent news about Britain’s ‘productivity gap’; whereby Britain’s productivity levels have almost ceased to grow since 2008 causing the UK to fall 6% behind other G8 economies.
The government published a 15-point plan in July to try to tackle the productivity issue, however, the ERC’s report said boosting small businesses support and education is more crucial as only 15% of small businesses have ambitions to scale.
The report also highlighted the value small businesses add to the economy, revealing that small and medium firms account for 15.6 million (60%) of all private sector jobs and £1.75 trillion (47%) of annual revenue per in the UK.
ERC deputy director, Professor Mark Hart, commented:
“Our research shows that there is huge untapped potential out there and that if we could build the confidence of innovative businesses that have high growth ambitions to start exporting regularly, we could generate an enormous boost to our economy.
“The challenge for those providing this support – whether government or the private sector – is to make sure it lands in the right places. A scattergun approach won’t work, because only a relatively small proportion of firms combine a high-growth mind-set with innovation and a capability to export.”