In a new report, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on the government to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with better access to business support and advice.
The FSB stated that the government's levelling-up agenda will 'fall short of improving regional economies' unless more is done to bolster business support for smaller firms.
Within the report, the business group outlined 'significant gaps in business support for SMEs'. 84% of small firms received some sort of business support advice during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with 45% of SMEs stating that the advice they were given helped their business to survive. However, many sole traders found that the support was not helpful.
Commenting on the matter, Martin McTague, National Vice Chair of the FSB, said: 'We've endured almost 18 months of this terrible pandemic which has wreaked economic chaos for small businesses all over the country. That's why the support and advice available to them has never been more important.
'For too many, knowing where to look, who to speak to and what to do leads to a dead end and that needs to change. Every day, small firms ask themselves how can I manage my debt? How can we achieve net zero without breaking the bank? Or how can I attract more staff? It's these sorts of questions where the right advice can make huge differences.'