Just 35 per cent of SMEs believe this year's Budget will be good for their company, research finds.
For businesses with fewer than 50 employees just over a quarter (27 per cent) believe the Budget will help their business, according to a poll by MarketInvoice.
Underlining a general sense of disillusionment among SMEs, 33 per cent of the survey sample say they are not expecting any helpful initiatives at all in the Budget.
Frustration levels are especially high among businesses with fewer than 50 employees, of which 40 per cent have no positive expectations.
Anil Stocker, co-founder and CEO of MarketInvoice, says, 'The Chancellor has lost his audience. Business owners are juggling a thousand different problems every day, and have no faith that the government will find ways to help them out.
'With so many businesses expecting nothing useful at all from the Budget, it might be time for the Chancellor to go back to the drawing board.'
When asked about their priorities for the Budget, SMEs were clear on what they would be watching for, and what they’re not interest in.
Some 18 per cent say clamping down on late payments would make a difference and 17 per cent suggest a further drop in corporation tax for businesses making only marginal profits.
There is little support for the creation of the Small Business Commissioner role to resolve disputes and give advice, with only 7 per cent saying this would have a positive impact.
When asked about less likely policy announcements they would support, more than a quarter (26 per cent) of SMEs say ‘scrapping corporation tax for SMEs and making sure big business (eg Google) pays more’ was their ‘wildest dream from the budget to help impact, grow, and develop their business’.
This is followed in order of priority by ‘force the banks (particularly those bailed out by the government) to make low interest loans more freely available to businesses’, highlighted by 25 per cent of respondents and ‘create a single tax that covers VAT, Corporation and National Insurance’ supported by 18 per cent.
Stocker adds, 'Small businesses want real action that affects their everyday business lives in a clear and positive way. They don’t want the same old story trotted out. They want new ideas and new impetus for their business. It’s time for the Chancellor to deliver results for our small businesses.'