In 2008 we ran a survey to learn about the hopes and concerns of our small businesses and relayed the results to the Government and the media.
In the run up to the general election and with the final party leaders’ television debate on 29th April focusing on the economy, we thought it was time to run another in-depth survey and over 400 of our female entrepreneurs have spoken out about their hopes and concerns.
The survey concluded:
• David Cameron’s Conservative Party considered best small business champion with the greatest understanding of small business
• Conservative Party at top of election poll although vast majority undecided with Labour and Liberal Democrats equally low, and running neck and neck behind in attracting the small business vote
• Nearly half say they see no signs of a Labour government making a positive difference to small business, less than 6% say Brown puts a high value on the role of small business in the UK economy and only 0.5% say they feel well supported by a government which understands small businesses needs
• Only 3.3% of small businesses say Labour’s recent budget announcement is enough to get them to vote labour
• Easily available start-up and early stage grants are small businesses’ greatest demand followed by better tax breaks
• E-commerce is key to small businesses with nearly half saying they would never have never gone into business if they couldn’t sell online
• Lack of finance and e-commerce knowledge is the greatest obstacle to growth
• Small business sector remarkably strong with over one third saying they have been unaffected by the economic downturn and 23.9% reporting annual turnover is up
• More small businesses have used credit cards to fund their business than have applied for a government grant or taken out a business bank loan or personal bank loan.
Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish, co-founders of notonthehighstreet.com, said:
“83.4% of the small businesses that took part in our survey told us that they believe there is an important job to by done by notonthehighstreet.com in representing the small business community to the government and the media, so we are pleased to be giving our warts and all report in the run up to the general election.
With over 90 per cent of the 1,500 small businesses we support run by women, we hope this survey will help get the vital female entrepreneur voice heard. Our survey clearly shows that whoever gets into power in the coming election has got their work cut out. The small business sector is strong in poor economic times with hundreds of thriving businesses telling us they are riding high above the recession. But in order to grow this vital part of the UK economy politicians must get real about small businesses demands. We undertook a similar survey two years ago and these latest results show feelings are even more strongly against the government. The same issues are being highlighted again two years on but the government clearly hasn’t listened. We invite each of the party leaders to come and meet us and we will be pleased to tell it to them straight and provide them with invaluable information about our small businesses and what they really want.”
If you have more thoughts on this, we’d love to hear them. Comment below or email us.
(in)decision bag by Mr.PS