Forum calls for ‘two pronged’ approach in reaction to weak growth figures

Small business support organisation the Forum of Private Business has called for a ‘two pronged’ approach to boost economic growth in the UK.

Reaction to today’s announcement that UK GDP grew by just 0.5% between January and March, the Forum believes Britain needs to see two main measures in order to foster a meaningful economic recovery – swift business-friendly policies from the Government, and an increase in business and consumer confidence.

Forum chief executive Phil Orford said: “An increase of 0.5% is as good as we might have hoped for and it’s reassuring to know we haven’t returned to recession. However, it doesn’t indicate any great surge of economic activity, and it won’t dramatically increase confidence in the small business sector.

“If we want to see some real growth next quarter, we need some radical and immediate measures from the Government which will tangibly improve conditions for smaller businesses on the ground.

“If smaller companies are to foster a genuine and meaningful recovery, they need to be freed from costly and time-consuming red tape, benefit from a simpler and more sympathetic tax system, and see the soaring costs of essentials like fuel and utilities tackled.

“This in turn should help to bring about the second thing we need to see – a significant increase in business and consumer confidence. Of course, the UK economy isn’t performing brilliantly at present but it could be a lot worse and maintaining confidence is essential if we want to help smaller businesses drive economic recovery.”

Orford added: “These are the sorts of things we’re calling for through our campaign, Get Britain Trading. They are entirely realistic measures which don’t require any significant Government spending but could transform the fortunes of smaller businesses across the UK.”