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SMEs want better government support

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have mixed feelings about government initiatives to help them grow, research by Aviva has found.

A third of business owners think there is enough government support and advice available but 43% say there is not enough.

Help SMEs want from the government:

  • cut accounting red tape for small businesses (49%)
  • reduce VAT (27%)
  • reduce corporation tax for small businesses (39%)
  • lower National Insurance bills (18%).

Despite the mixed sentiment towards the government, the survey found that optimism among SMEs is high. Half of business owners enjoy running their firm and 58% expect strong or improved growth in the second half of this year.

Robert Ledger, head of small business at Aviva, said the government has taken "some positive steps", including:

"... reducing the main rate of corporation tax to 23% last year and a further cut promised next year, creating the British Business Bank in 2012 to help secure finance and launching the website Great Business last year, which offers tips and advice.

"It would seem from our survey that some SMEs may not be feeling the benefits of these changes and initiatives yet so clearly there is more government can be doing to raise awareness of the support that is available."