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FSB urges Chancellor to use Spending Review to stimulate SME investment

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has sent a report to Chancellor, George Osborne ahead of his Spending Review later this month, encouraging the Government to stimulate investment in small firms to strengthen the economic environment.
At the heart of the FSB’s message to Mr Osborne is a call for reform of the enterprise support landscape. New research by the FSB found that there are more than 800 grant schemes available for small firms at the local level, with 18 national schemes.
While the FSB recognises the importance of Government business support, it believes the Business Bank is an ideal opportunity to simplify support and focus efforts on delivery to ensure that good policy intentions have a positive impact on the ground.
John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, said: "The Business Bank has the potential to be a game changer in the small business finance market, but only if its aims and funding are clearly set out.
"What the FSB would like to see is a long-term plan for how the Business Bank will be funded to ensure it remains independent, and for the current ‘alphabet soup’ of government initiatives tidied up to create a much more focused offering."
In addition, the FSB wishes to see spending retained in key areas such as skills, exports, broadband and transport to underpin businesses and improve the UK’s economic outlook; giving SMEs greater opportunities to expand.
"The recent economic picture is more positive than we have seen in a while. Our own data shows that confidence is building and is at its highest level since the start of 2011," added Allan.
"The Chancellor must use the Spending Review to build upon this by setting out a long-term vision for ongoing investment in key areas, as well as the Business Bank."
As the UK’s leading business organisation with over 200,000 members, the FSB actively protects and promotes the interests of the nation’s real-life entrepreneurs who run their own business.

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