If the government could tackle the complex tax system and help ease fuel and utility costs smaller firms would have a better chance of growing their businesses.
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That summary of the current hurdles faced by SMEs has been made by the Forum of Private Business, which has launched a campaign - Get Britain Trading - to help raise the profile of the issues that small firms are facing.
The coalition government is looking to the private sector to drive growth as cuts hit public spending but with inflation rising to 4% and unemployment hitting 2.5m the timing of the call for more assistance from the FPB is a timely one.
Phil Orford, chief executive at the FPB, said that it wanted business to succeed but measures had to be taken to improve the chances of SMEs to grow their businesses.
"We really believe this campaign can transform the small business landscape in the UK and free SMEs from the shackles of excessive red tape, mind-boggingly complex tax laws and all the other things which can make running your own business a constant uphill struggle," he said.
He added that if it could get enough small firms to sign up to the campaign it would give it something weighty to show politicians.