Lancashire organisation appeals to election candidates to support small businesses

The Blackpool-based Federation of Small Businesses is urging politicians from all parties to help get small businesses and the self-employed on the right footing for recovery.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 7:00 am

Ahead of the tranche of local and mayoral elections next Thursday, the UK’s biggest business group is asking politicians to commit to a three-point plan to spur recovery amongst the small business community. FSB is asking candidates from all the major parties to pledge to help.

It urged local authorities to pull out all the stops to get support funding out quickly to struggling businesses and wants candidates to work towards that.

It also wants them to commit to exploring innovative and collaborative initiatives across the region to encourage people to back their local small firms and high streets.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Paul Foster

Finally it is asking for them to press for an end to the late payments crisis, to ensure small firms, supply chains and the self-employed are paid within 30 days, on time, every time.

It said its latest Small Business Index survey showed business confidence in the UK was on the rise, at +27.3 in Q1 of this year, with almost two thirds of small firms expecting their performance to improve this quarter and it said acting on the three-point pledge will help ensure this confidence grows.

Paul Foster FSB development manager in Lancashire said: “Businesses in Lancashire are definitely feeling more upbeat in the last few weeks, there is a noticeable improvement in activity for businesses selling to both the general public and business-to-business.

“The easing out of lockdown of course helps and the vaccination numbers are making people feel more confident. We have a lot of ground to make up and businesses are still predicting a tough year as they have covid loans and deferred payments to catch up on, but generally there is positivity starting to emerge.”

The chairman of the FSB’s England Policy Unit, Ian O’Donnell, said: “After an incredibly hard year we are at a critical moment. That is why we are calling on all major parties and candidates, to commit to our three-point plan to back small business.

“The lifeline provided through local government over the past year has been invaluable, but some of the funding continues to stall, leaving small businesses, including those in the supply chain and owner-directors, without the money they desperately need.”