Government cuts are hurting SMEs, says report

A thinktank has warned that the austerity policies favoured by the British coalition government are having a detrimental affect on small business, especially in the North of England.

The 80-page report from the Centre for Cities notes that where SMEs are particularly dependent on consumers who are more likely to be taking benefits, they are suffering. The report calls out Blackburn, Hull and Liverpool as places of particular concern. The organisation is calling for greater powers to be conferred on local enterprise partnerships and also for a simplification of the various schemes available to SMEs.

Alexandra Jones of Centre for Cities said: “Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy but many have been particularly affected by the impact of the recession on their local economies. They will face challenges ahead as further austerity measures have a knock-on effect on local demand for their services.”