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And the 2015 election winner is…

…small businesses? That’s what we all want and every party is making big promises. What would be the best outcome for SMEs? It’s hard to tell but one thing is certain – there should be support for alternative finance.

The Conservatives have promised to freeze commuter rail fares, the Liberal Democrats have said that they will double SME rate relief for another year and the Labour Party has pledged to freeze energy bills until 2017. The Green Party has promised to keep SME corporation tax at 20% and UKIP has proposed a system to tackle late payment.

This is just a snapshot of the various parties’ SME policies, from which it is clear that the small business sector is a key battleground in the 2015 general election. That in itself is encouraging but choosing which box to tick remains a far from straightforward decision for business owners. Results from a poll of microbusinesses and freelancers by Crunch Accounting, that found that 27% of business owners wouldn’t choose to employ any of the candidates, suggest that they still need convincing.

What we should be hoping to see from whoever forms the next government is continued commitment to alternative finance. There has been a sea change in the small business finance landscape in recent years – an overhaul driven by cautious attitudes by traditional lenders and framed by the rise of services such as invoice finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding, whose flexibility, affordability and accessibility have given SMEs a financial lifeline.

Alternative finance goes from strength to strength and it is important for SMEs and the country’s economic wellbeing that this sector continues to receive support from the next government.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact us on 01903 602211 or info@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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