Back Small Business to Offset Cuts

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Byline: PETER TROY

AS with the majority of the population of the United Kingdom who have been reading newspapers or listening to news broadcasts in recent days, it has been impossible to escape reporting of "the cuts".

The negativity that stems from the news is huge, and the loss of confidence among consumers and business people is infectious, increasing the size of the barriers to growth of the economy, not only in the North East, but also throughout the country.

The sheer size of the numbers - money, jobs, and cuts - is huge. The consequences of the ever increasing sizes of the barriers to business growth are particularly felt by the nation's small and medium-sized businesses. Frustration at an incapacity to create jobs and prosperity, and to offset the coming squeeze in Government spending, results in a vital lack of confidence.

The Federation of Small Businesses has for many years campaigned for a more favourable playing field for small businesses, which currently employ over half of the total number of people working in the private sector. It is well recognised that more jobs could be created by SMEs if economic conditions were improved.

The new Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that over the next five years almost half a million government jobs will be lost. It would take extra growth of only 0.5% a year in private sector employment to compensate for that reduction.

Past performance shows job creation can be achieved in innovative, entrepreneurial, owner-managed SME businesses.

As the FSB has often illustrated, it is the dynamic, efficient and hands-on approach to business that has created the driving force to the nation's economic growth. So what can the coalition do to encourage the entrepreneurial army to take the risk and create more employment? I suggest the Government to do as little as possible and as simply as possible. …

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