The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on the government to do more to support small businesses across every sector of the UK’s economy.
In its latest Small Business Index (SBI) it found that confidence has fallen considerably in the past year. In the second quarter of 2019, the SBI posted a reading of -8.8, which represents a 22 point fall from the same three months in 2018.
Worryingly, 68 per cent of small businesses don’t expect their performance to improve in the third quarter of the year, while 41 per cent actually believe things will get worse for them in the coming months.
Among the reasons why small businesses are struggling are increased running costs, with 71 per cent citing this as an issue, and increased regulation, which is pushing costs up for 34 per cent of those surveyed.
Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, commented: “Increasing tax, regulatory and employment burdens are weighing heavy on small businesses, making it harder for us to hire, export and expand.”
He stressed that politicians need to do more to “make it easier for small businesses to compete”.
The SBI also revealed that those operating in construction, retail and manufacturing have been particularly hard-hit in recent months.
There is some good news for the UK’s small businesses, at least in retail. Last month, The Sun highlighted research from Vistaprint which found that 23 per cent of millennials plan to shop more with small businesses this year than they did last year.
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