Small businesses are getting increasingly nervous about how the general election will impact on them and the wider economy, according to the latest snapshot.
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New research by ClicData shows that 41% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are worried, rising to 48% of micro-businesses with turnovers below £100,000, and a whacking 77% of businesses located in the North East.
Firms in Scotland are least fazed by the prospect of a new government, with just a quarter admitting to nerves, while the same could be said of less than a third of businesses located in London.
Things to keep you up at night
The survey, which incorporated the views of top people at 200 businesses countrywide, turned up some unexpected results when it came to people’s particular area of jitteriness. Some 44% said it was the company pension scheme, making it the top answer.
Flexible working legislation, perhaps anticipating a left-of-centre coalition, was second on the list with 38% and changes to the minimum wage was third with 36%. Other areas included tax legislation and parental rights.
But ClicData found variances in the results depending on the size of the business being questioned. For example, businesses with 50 staff or more cared most about the minimum wage – more employees, the higher the cost, while micro-firms pointed to pensions and tax red tape.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, 48% of respondents said the coalition government favoured big business more than SMEs, compared with only 13% prepared to say it was the other way around.
The Tory party is stereotypically seen as the party of big business, but entrepreneurs are split about their voting intentions. The Labour party is making friendly noises about small businesses, which could change a few votes come polling day.
The general election will be held on 7 May, with the results coming soon after.