MORE than three quarters of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe the Budget will hit them negatively, with a majority thinking larger firms get a better deal from the government, a survey claims.
A poll by software provider Epos Now, ahead of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Budget tomorrow, found 76 per cent of SMEs were concerned that his red box would have negative implications for their business.
A further 16 per cent expect it to have a no impact at all, with just eight per cent expecting a positive outcome.
Tax and business rates were the biggest worry for most SMEs, with 60 per cent stating corporation tax and other business levies were a major concern.
Half of those polled would like to see action taken on business rate rises while another half would like to see business taxes frozen.
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Almost two-thirds, 64 per cent, said their overall situation had not improved since the last Budget announcement in March 2016, while 92 per cent of respondents felt the government favours larger enterprises over SMEs.
Jacyn Heavens, chief executive of Epos Now, said Hammond needs to use the Budget to show he understands the needs of SMEs.
“SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy. Even though there is pessimism surrounding the Budget, I’m optimistic that our SMEs will keep innovating,” she said.
“Their entrepreneurial ideas and willingness to embrace innovation help fuel dynamic growth. That’s why it’s so important that government listens to their concerns and focuses more on meeting their needs.
“The Budget provides a great opportunity to the government to strengthen their focus on small business right away.”