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SMEs and the EU

Debate is raging around the government concerning Britain’s membership to the EU and whether it would be better for the UK if we took back certain responsibilities from Brussels. However, if the government is looking to remove barriers to business growth, such as cutting down red tape, there are many things that can be done in the mean time to help the country’s small businesses.

The government and other experts have been railing against the red tape that the EU is imposing on the UK’s businesses, claiming that it is limiting growth and strangling many businesses into stagnation. However, when you compare the UK to other EU countries, it’s not just membership to the EU that’s the problem – there are many things that the UK government could do to make business life easier.

One of the big examples is the UK reliance on tax breaks and retrospective incentives for SMEs. These measures – although of course they’re welcome – aren’t really doing much to directly impact on investment into business. The tax breaks for SMEs, which won’t be in full swing until 2015, are actually just a way of reducing running costs for businesses and the overall burden of costs.

This all sounds well and good, but compare to Germany – here, entrepreneurs and start ups can apply for up to 500,000 euros of public funding to get their venture off the ground. As many businesses say one of their biggest problems getting going was their lack of funding, this kind of thing helps to overcome that initial, rather large, obstacle. Whether it’s staff, machinery, raw materials or logistic support the business needs, this sort of cash injection early on is exactly what they need to get hold of it.

Though the Business Bank is well on it’s way, it’s unlikely that this kind of system would be adopted in the UK. So, if your business needs a bit of a cash injection, it’s worth researching your options. If your start up, or indeed any size SME, needs help with cash flow to overcome every day costs, then invoice finance could help.

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