[Re: Sunak urged to ‘turn wise words into action’ by FSB chair after small retailers feel ‘abandoned’, March 11]
While “levelling up” has become the government’s phrase of the year, for the vast majority of small and medium-sized businesses this is a slogan without substance.
Although schemes like Help to Grow are a step in the right direction, its low uptake suggests that vouchers and incentives are not enough to kickstart the recovery of SMEs. To truly boost the growth of SMEs, Westminster must dig deeper into the pain points that they face – like late payments and difficulty accessing efficient finance.
Traditional finance for small businesses is clunky – it is difficult to access and expensive when it can be accessed. The models and procedures used by banks haven’t changed for decades. This is the age of embedded finance – finance should be integrated into basic business processes.
The technology is accessible and ready to help tackle these challenges. The government should put its money where its mouth is to consolidate Britain’s status as a global technology hub by creating impactful solutions for the very real problems that small and medium-sized businesses come up against. Leveraging technology as a driving force for growth could go a long way in ensuring that SMEs aren’t left behind as the economy seeks to “level up”.