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News - 26 February 2015

Inquiry into business support

Businesses in the UK often face a complex and unclear support offer from Government, says the
Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee in its new report.

Factors governing this include the complex nature of the support landscape and the long-term stability of individual support schemes.

The Committee also finds that, nearly 7 years on from the banking crisis, British businesses still find it difficult to obtain access to finance, particularly SMEs (Small or Medium Enterprises).

The inquiry concluded that government should have a clearer understanding about scheme outcomes and undertake regular analysis to ensure support schemes are addressing the needs of individual firms.

Liz Kennett, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“The Committee’s inquiry focused on access to finance, support for exports, manufacturing and efforts to encourage local growth. However, they found that although there are over 600 publically-funded support schemes available, they are often poorly communicated and difficult for businesses to access due to the different objectives, eligibility, funding and contact points.”

The Committee recommends the Government do more to draw on the British Business Bank’s expertise and gain an overview of the lending environment faced by SMEs, including both traditional and alternative finance.

Adrian Bailey, Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, said:
“Creating the best possible conditions for British business, particularly SMEs, to thrive is vital to our country’s long-term economic prosperity. While the Government’s current approach is largely positive, we found businesses are not always clear about the support on offer, finding it poorly communicated, confusing and not focused enough on business need.”

The Committee notes that one of the most ambitious Government trade objectives is for the UK to be exporting £1 trillion of goods and services per year by 2020. At present, UK exports are worth around £500 billion per year, and recommended that the Government should provide projections of expected export growth over the next six years and report progress against these projections each year in its annual review.

The Committee also stressed the need for Government to establish cross-party consensus for business support, providing consistent points of information about or access to the support available rather than engaging in continuous revolution of the system.

If you need any help and advice for your business on the implications of Government Funding initiatives, Business Development advice, and or starting up a new business, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Liz Kennett to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients and
mindful of their long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business

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