Half of SMEs want energy grants in emergency budgetwritten by Bella Palmer
Nearly half of small business owners want to see the Government introduce energy grants, as increases in fuel prices threaten to cause them damage in the run-up to winter
Small businesses are looking to the new Government’s expected emergency Budget to ease the squeeze of ‘soaring’ energy costs and a looming recession, according to new data from London based small business lender iwoca.
Nearly half (47 per cent) of small business owners want to see the Government introduce energy grants, as increases in fuel prices threaten to cause them damage in the run-up to winter.
Second on SMEs’ list of policy priorities for the economy is an additional windfall tax on energy companies; two in five (41 per cent) are calling for the ad hoc levy. Other key measures small businesses want introduced to mitigate the effect of energy bills include tax-deductible work from home costs like heating and lighting (30 per cent).
With concerns over energy prices dominating the top of the list, in third place was cutting income tax, with 39 per cent of businesses asking for this. With tax issues playing a central part in the Conservative leadership contest, small businesses told iwoca they’re looking for fiscal cuts for businesses in the Budget.
As they grapple with higher monthly costs and cash flow restrictions, over a third of SME owners surveyed (36 per cent) are calling for the proposed increase in corporation tax rate to be reversed, and a similar number (35 per cent) want the same for the increase in national insurance.
More than two in five small business owners surveyed (43 per cent) say the UK business environment is worse than it was a year ago. By contrast, fewer than one in three (29 per cent) small business owners think the business environment is better than it was last year.
Christoph Rieche, iwoca CEO, commented: The next Government must have its eyes firmly fixed on support for small businesses, who are currently unprotected from soaring energy costs. It’s critical that the Budget carries a range of solutions for SMEs who are being disproportionately hit by current economic turmoil.
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