Canary Wharf

Millions of business owners across the UK are worried that the Budget will do little to address their concerns and are calling for more support from the Government during the Brexit process, a new survey has revealed.

According to the research by challenger bank Aldermore, 68 per cent of small business bosses – representing 3.74 million UK firms – do not believe that the Budget will properly address their concerns, with one in five businesses not confident it will do this at all.

The survey, which polled over 1,000 decision makers in SMEs, found that seven in 10 (71 per cent) want the Government to provide more information and support to guide them through the Brexit transition period.

More than a quarter of business owners (26 per cent) also want more preparation for the possible event of a no-deal Brexit to ease concerns.

Three in 10 (29 per cent) SME bosses would like to see greater focus on investment in UK businesses, while 21 per cent would like to see business rates cut and a rise in rate relief.

Carl D’Ammassa, group managing director of business finance at Aldermore, said: “This week’s Budget provides the perfect platform for the Government to highlight its backing and support for the small business community in the UK.

“SMEs are the backbone of the economy and it is vital they are given all the help possible given the current political and economic uncertainty.”

Despite concerns over leaving the EU, 24 per cent of firms believe Brexit will have a positive effect on their business, up from 19 per cent a year ago.

Around the same proportion (27 per cent) think Brexit will have a negative effect, slightly up from 26 per cent 12 months ago.

The report also reveals that just under half (45 per cent) of business owners are happy about leaving the EU, the same percentage as this time last year.

“Business owners are still unsure how Brexit negotiations will play out and it is not surprising their views and opinions are divided when it comes to the impact it will have on them,” said Mr D’Ammassa.

“With this widespread uncertainty in mind, we urge all business leaders to spend time focusing on putting specific procedures in the place that will hopefully shield them from any and all negative outcomes that may come their way over the coming years.”

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