In a new report, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that ‘billions of pounds in EU funding’ will need to be replaced following the UK’s departure from the EU if Britain is to avoid creating a ‘business support black hole’ for small firms.
According to the report, the EU has dedicated £3.6 billion to the development of a competitive business environment for UK small businesses for the funding round set to end in 2020.
The FSB has suggested that, currently, there is ‘no regional development spend budgeted at national level beyond 2021’.
It is calling for the next government to seize the opportunity that Brexit presents to reform the business support landscape for small firms.
Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, stated: ‘Small businesses across the country are staring into a business support black hole from 2021. This is a particularly pressing issue for the many small firms with growth ambitions and those in less economically developed regions.
‘If the next government is serious about developing an Industrial Strategy that delivers prosperity across all areas of England, it must replace EU funding dedicated to small business support and access to finance after we leave the EU.’