Small Businesses Growth Prospects Cautious Post Budget

Small businesses are cautious about their prospects following the 2011 Budget, with 55% of small business decision makers expecting their business to ‘stay about the same size’ and 25 per cent predicting their businesses will grow in the next 12 months, according to new research for Safestore, the UK’s largest self-storage company.

The research, which assessed 500 small business senior decision makers’ perceptions of the 2011 Budget and the implications for small business, also shows that more needs to be done to help them cut costs. 54% of small businesses surveyed said the measures announced by Chancellor George Osborne will make no difference to their growth prospects and 26% actually think it make things harder for them to grow.

When asked to consider the budgetary measures they thought would have the most positive effect on their business, 22% said that no new regulation for firms with less than ten employees for three years was the most advantageous. This was followed by business rate relief holiday being extended for a year (12%) and fuel duty to be cut by one pence (12%).

Key facts from the Safestore small business Budget research include:

  • 56% of small business decision makers said the area of their business in which they would most like to cut costs was in taxes (corporation tax, VAT and NI) – 14% want to cut down rents and rates
  • 25% of small business decision makers say they are optimistic they will grow and only 17% believe their business will decline in the coming 12 months.
  • 32% of small businesses believe the 2011 Budget would be most beneficial in stimulating growth in larger businesses
  • The Budgetary measure most advantageous for small firms was no new regulation for firms with less than ten staff for the next three years, with 22% selecting this answer

Peter Gowers, CEO of Safestore commented:

“Small businesses clearly remain cautious about trading prospects. They want to grow and are doing what they can to keep on top of costs, for example by moving into flexible self storage facilities rather than tying themselves into rigid property leases. What they need from the government is more help to reduce the burden that lies beyond their control – taxes, rates and regulation.”

John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“This research ties in with findings from a Federation of Small Businesses survey which showed that small firms feel that while the measures announced in the Budget will do no harm – it won’t help them either.”

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