Future Impacts: UK SMEs call on govt to do more to stimulate business growth

RSA Group


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SMEs call on government to act as seven in 10 businesses expect revenues to shrink or stand still in 2017

  • 71% of small-to-medium-sized businesses expect revenues to shrink or stand still in the next 12 months.
  • Just over half of SMEs (51%) said the government is not doing enough to help them grow

Leading commercial insurer RSA has today (22 December 2016) released figures showing that 51% of UK SMEs think the government is not doing enough to help businesses grow, with 71% of small businesses expecting their revenues to either fall or stand still in 2017.


Five measures to drive SME growth in 2017

In line with this finding, RSA has suggested five measures for Government and industry working in partnership that would help to better facilitate business growth.

1. Provide more information/data on markets and consumer behaviour that SMEs could incorporate into their business strategy.

2. Provide advice on what SMEs can do to protect their business from the potential effects of economic uncertainty.

3. Invest more in developing infrastructure, such as broadband and public transport, to help SMEs operate more efficiently and reach more consumers.

4. Provide companies with better access to finance so they can obtain the funding they need to expand.

5. Provide more information/data on failed businesses and what led to their bankruptcy so that SMEs can better manage their risks.

RSA research

RSA Future Impacts report cover - silhouettes of three people looking at the night sky. Copyright RSA

Future impacts: the changing nature of risk facing small businesses in the UK

Russell White, schemes and deals director, regions and SME, commercial risk solutions at RSA, said:

“SMEs are significant drivers of UK economic growth, with combined revenues of around £1.8 trillion. It is crucial that they are given as much support as possible in order to help them thrive. However, our research suggests that SMEs don’t feel they are adequately supported at the highest level in what is a tough economic environment, despite the benefits improving SME growth could bring, in terms of lower unemployment, higher wages and increased gross domestic product.
“It is paramount that the government heeds SMEs’ calls for increased support, particularly given the economic uncertainty the UK is predicted to experience as a results of events such as Brexit.”

Media enquiries

  • Mairi MacDonald, RSA media team - head and shoulders colour photograph

    Mairi MacDonald

    Media relations manager, commercial risk solutions and global risk solutions

Notes to editors

Future Impacts: the changing nature of risk facing small businesses in the UK (PDF) is based on fieldwork conducted in September 2016 by Opinium of 1,000 senior decision makers at UK SMEs. Insurance broker fieldwork was collected and analysed by Cicero Research, with 84 broker respondents. The report was written and produced by Cicero Group.