Chancellor George Osborne should put small businesses at the heart of his 2013 Budget, firms in Kent have insisted.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Kent and Medway has called on the March 20th package to include a range of measures that will help investment, growth and job creation among Britain's small firms, which should reinstate higher confidence levels.
Businesses in Kent and Medway yearn to grow but are being constrained by the availability of finance and long term capital and, therefore, the FSB in Kent and Medway wants greater focus on the previously announced Business Bank.
Mr Osborne should establish exactly the role the institution will have in getting finance to small firms and how it will encourage competition among banks, as well as making clear to businesses that there are alternative means of gaining capital.
The FSB in Kent and Medway is also calling for the Financial Conduct Authority to fulfil its remit related to getting more organisations on the market, which would further help to increase choice and competition.
Meanwhile, it is asking for the tax system to be made simpler, Small Business Rates Relief to be made a permanent fixture, an extension to the National Insurance Contributions holiday to firms with fewer than four staff as well as start-ups and for the planned 3p fuel duty rise to be cancelled.
"What we need to hear on March 20th is not more small-scale policies which tinker at the edges but measures that will have a tangible effect both immediately and in the long-term. That is why we have asked for a review of enterprise policy, to ensure the right initiatives are in place that really do help small firms start-up and grow," said Roger House, FSB chairman in Kent and Medway.
"The Business Bank and access to finance have a clear role to play in this, but so too does making it easier to run a business. This is why making it easier to find investment relief, simplifying the tax system and making small business rates relief permanent should be the chancellor's priority."