1st November 2010 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Government’s announcement of support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) is an important stepping stone to helping create a new business environment for small companies, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Richard Diment, Director General of the FMB said: “For too long SMEs have been overlooked by government despite the fact that they provide 60 percent of jobs in the UK and half the country’s GDP. Today’s announcement is a positive step forward and the proposed joined up approach should help provide SMEs with better support from across government departments.”
Diment continued: “Since the recession began many small building contractors have had difficulty accessing finance, despite the fact that many of these companies have a proven track record running successful companies. The FMB has been asking government to act on this issue for a long time. Government assistance must be coupled with raising awareness of the help available because according to a recent survey of our members more than half of them were unaware of assistance on offer from the Government, including the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), which the Government hope will provide assistance to up to 6,000 SMEs a year. Most have very little time to research the various, complex support available to them so if the Government wants small businesses to be major players when it comes to private sector growth they need to do more to reach them.”
Diment added: “Equally as important is access to public sector work because for too long public sector procurement has made it almost impossible for SMEs to compete to win work. Smaller, local companies are often best placed to do the work as they are often more cost effective because of fewer overheads.”
Diment concluded: “The announcement that Lord Young has agreed to take on the role of Enterprise Adviser to the Prime Minister is also very encouraging. Lord Young now needs to ensure that he really gets to know the business conditions that SMEs work in so that he can suggest workable solutions to create a better business environment for SMEs.”