Press release

Autumn Statement 2023: It's time to back Britain’s small businesses

 Autumn Statement 2023: It's time to back Britain’s small businesses
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation

Posted: Mon 20th Nov 2023

A business group has called for the chancellor to back Britain’s 6 million+ small businesses in the Autumn Statement following the historic levels of insolvencies reported this week.

Emma Jones, CBE, founder and CEO of small business support platform and membership community Enterprise Nation, warns that the UK’s small businesses need support now to develop the skills they need not just to survive but thrive.

Insolvency Service data released in October 2023 showed 6,342 companies were registered as insolvent in the three months to the end of June, 10% more compared to the same quarter in 2022, the highest number since the financial crash of 2009.

Emma said:

"I firmly believe that access to support, as early as possible, in a business owner’s journey is vital and that it can literally save companies from going under. With economists warning of a persistent deficit pushing into the next decade, we need to be more ambitious for our economy.

"To do that we need a healthy pipeline of innovative businesses to support future economic growth, increase innovation and add diversity to the UK’s business community.

"We need to be ready to support founders to develop the skills they need and to connect them with experienced business advisers and mentors who can provide guidance based on their own life lessons and journey. The small business community will be looking closely for signals that they have the backing and support of the government later this month.

"I wrote to the chancellor last month outlining how we think the right conditions to build an Enterprise Nation could be achieved and that we are willing to play our part in providing a platform that connects businesses to a full range of support that we deem to be an essential component in achieving sustainable business – and therefore wider economic - growth."

The group is calling for the chancellor to consider seven steps towards positive change:

  • Urgently incentivise and increase tech adoption to boost productivity, competitiveness and resilience to future shocks;

  • Re-introduce the New Enterprise Allowance to create a clear support network for those going from unemployment to entrepreneurship;

  • Boost start-up access and SME exposure to government contracts as these can act as an accelerator;

  • Unleash experienced older workers into the workforce to support entrepreneurial activity;

  • Scrap and replace the business rates system to give start-up retailers more access to high street space including pop-ups, benefiting the whole community;

  • Stamp out late payments and consider recent measures from the Dutch Government to mandate 30-day terms to larger firms procuring from smaller ones;

  • Become a tax innovator and lead the world in virtual assistants and AI to make tax simpler to pay and collect.

Enterprise Nation's detailed asks submitted to the Chancellor are here.

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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