A recent study, which was commissioned by skilledpeople.com has revealed that 70 percent of the 311 small businesses questioned feel that they don’t receive sufficient support from the government, which affects the ability to secure contracts from the public and private sector.
Out of the companies who were invited to tender for contracts, 20 percent didn’t put in a bid as they weren’t sure that they would be able to deliver goods and services promised, due to insufficient skills and resources. More support from the government was a top issue among respondents, including increased flexibility of employment laws, lower business rates and lower Corporation Tax. This would enable increased competition with effective management of skills and capacity issues.
Over a quarter of the companies surveyed admitted they wouldn’t attempt to compete with larger firms, with 10 percent saying that skills shortages played a role in that decision. Data has also been released showing the banks lending figures. Lending to Small and Medium Enterprise by the main five UK banks, Lloyds, Santander, HSBC, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland has fallen to £18.8 billion in the third quarter of 2011, compared to £20.5 billion in the preceding quarter. Questions are being asked about Project Merlin, which is an agreement between the government and five main banks to lend an agreed figure to SMEs over the course of 2011. To keep to the target of £76 billion, banks will have to lend £19.9 billion in the final quarter of the year.
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