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Chancellor urged to improve access to finance for SMEs

Chancellor George Osborne must take steps to improve access to finance for small businesses, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged.

With further details of the Government’s new Business Bank expected to be announced in the forthcoming Budget, the FSB is urging the Chancellor to set out the role of the new institution in making finance accessible to small businesses, and to demonstrate how it will help to improve competition in the banking sector, as well as encouraging non-bank sources of finance.

The business group has also called on the Chancellor to announce new incentives for taking on staff, and to conduct a review of enterprise support in order to ensure that its delivery is focused and effective.

While welcoming the recent measure allowing small firms with a turnover of less than £77,000 to provide cash-based accounts, the business group has urged the Government to continue with its programme for simplifying the tax system, suggesting that the existing investment relief schemes should be brought together in a simple ‘one stop shop’.

The organisation has also urged the Chancellor to make Small Business Rates Relief permanent in England, and to bring business rates indexation in line with CPI rather than RPI.

Other measures in the FSB’s Budget submission include a call to extend the national insurance contributions holiday, and a cancellation of the 3p fuel duty rise planned for September.

The Chancellor will present the 2013 Budget on Wednesday 20 March. Visit our website for the latest updates on the Chancellor’s announcements.