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Third of SMEs' growth stunted by postage charges

A new YouGov survey, commissioned by eBay UK, has found that a third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) feel their businesses are being held back by the cost of postage and delivery logistics.

The report shows that 31 per cent of small business owners fear that postage charges and delivery logistics limit their ability to grow; while 75 per cent of respondents believe overseas shipping costs hamper their chances of securing custom from outside the UK.

Tanya Lawler, vice president of eBay UK, said: “We have been calling on the Government and policy makers for years to do more to level the playing field for Britain’s army of SMEs by reducing postal costs and improving delivery and logistics services.

“These diverse businesses are vital to the UK because they are the engine of our growth at home and abroad, with more than four-in-five small businesses on eBay in the UK selling internationally.”

With the general election just weeks away, additional issues reared their head in the study that SMEs want politicians to focus on; including lowered taxes for all businesses (48 per cent), investment in faster broadband (31 per cent), improved postal and delivery services (27 per cent), better advice on setting up and running an online business (17 per cent) and more police effort to tackle cybercrime and fraud (16 per cent).

These figures follow on from a previous YouGov survey which found small firms also feel they are not getting the support from banks that they received pre-recession.

Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of SME owners believe the banks are not lending as much as they should to small firms, with 60 per cent of the belief that it is now harder to obtain credit than it was pre-coalition.

Subsequently, business owners are increasingly taking matters into their own hands with almost three-quarters no longer relying on financial support from banks.

Image: Gerry Kane

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