SMEs need more than small “flashes of growth” – FSB

While it welcomed today’s news of a small uptick in GDP, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called for more action from Government to ensure growth among small firms is nurtured.

The FSB said this was especially important in those sectors which have been hardest-hit, and among start-ups and entrepreneurs.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that GDP rose by 0.1% in February 2024 compared with the previous month.

Tina McKenzie, policy chair at the FSB, said: “Positive economic growth in February is certainly welcome, building on January’s momentum and giving a measure of optimism to small firms, who have been battling against strong headwinds for some time now.

“There are signs of cautious recovery among the small business community – but it is important to emphasise that this is not evenly distributed between sectors.

“It will take more than flashes of growth to raise spirits in the hospitality and retail sectors, for example, whose confidence scores were way below the headline figure for all businesses at the end of last year, according to our Small Business Index.

“Today’s ONS data shows that these sectors continue to struggle.

“Now the Government needs to ensure that growth among small firms is nurtured, rather than left to wither.

“It needs to think hard about how to support existing businesses, especially in those sectors which have been hardest-hit, and how to create the best possible environment for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

“In election year, it’s time for politicians to come forward with bold and ambitious plans to help small businesses grow, access finance, take on staff and ultimately deliver day-in, day-out for every customer and community across the UK.”