SME lobby groups back pre-budget report


SME lobby groups back pre-budget report

Microscope contributor

Small business groups have welcomed moves made by the Chancellor in yesterday’s pre-budget report to ease life for SMEs.

Alistair Darling announced a £1bn small business loan fund as well as deferring next year's rise in corporation tax and allowing small companies to offset losses up to £50,000 over the last three years.

In response the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said that the government had implemented measures it had been calling for and it expected the pre-budget report to be good for its members.

“Many of these measures, such as giving businesses longer time to pay bills and offsetting losses, will give small businesses a welcome breather from the taxman and allow them to concentrate on sustaining their business, supporting their staff and growing the economy in the long term,” said John Walker, FSB National Policy Chairman.

There was a mixed response from the Forum of Private Business (FPB), which said that there should be greater access to funds for SMEs but the temporary nature of the relief came in for criticism.

"These schemes are welcome, provided that the banks make them accessible, and that small businesses are proactive in seeking them out,” said the FPB's Chief Executive, Phil Orford.

"However, we are disappointed that these initiatives are both temporary and short-term, and that much of what has been given today will be clawed back post 2011. In addition to short-term liquidity solutions, we were hoping for medium and long-term policies to provide more certainty for business owners,” he added.

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