More SMEs ‘less confident’ under Tories

Prime Minister David Cameron is starting a second term as Prime Minister following his party's General Election victory
Prime Minister David Cameron is starting a second term as Prime Minister following his party's General Election victory
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Small and medium-sized businesses in the North West are feeling less confident about the future under the new Conservative government, according to a survey.

Research by small business founder Liberis has revealed more of the region’s SMEs are less sure about their future now under a majority administration than those feeling more confident.

Despite a majority win nationally, there’s still plenty of work needed to gain the confidence of the North West’s small businesses.

Paul Mildenstein

And many say they are not convinced David Cameron’s government will keep its election promises. The poll of 1,000 firms found that more than a third (34 per cent) of the North West’s SMEs feel less confident about their business’ future since the election, compared to only 25 per cent who now feel more confident. Two in every five (41 per cent) say they feel the same as before.

When questioned on the government’s election pledges to small businesses, 34 per cent don’t feel confident that they will be kept, whereas 32 per cent do. Thirty four per cent are undecided.

The survey also shows a lack of confidence that access to finance will be made easier for SMEs, with 44 per cent of companies not convinced it will happen, compared to just 22 per cent who are.

Of the government’s small business manifesto, North West businesses think that the top three most important and beneficial promises are that the government will cut red tape, review business rates and also review the disadvantages faced by the self-employed, including maternity pay and building up a pension.

However, 31 per cent felt that the Conservative election manifesto hadn’t covered the key issues facing small businesses, compared to 26 per cent who did.

Commenting on the findings, Liberis CEO Paul Mildenstein said, “Despite a majority win nationally, there’s still plenty of work needed to gain the confidence of the North West’s small businesses.

“Last week’s announcement of a new Enterprise Bill is a welcome start, but small businesses need to see the detail, a plan of action and a delivery timetable of all the support promised pre-election.”

The Enterprise Bill was announced on May 19 by Sajid Javid, the new Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.