Spending review prompts SMEs to tighten their belts

Small business is scurrying to make £1.68bn of savings - thanks to the government's cuts. And the PM is urging self-belief...

by Dave Waller
Last Updated: 03 Dec 2010

Small businesses are clearly concerned about the impact of the spending review on their business – they’ve already scrambled to create £1.68bn of cost costing measures.

That’s according to a survey by price comparison service Make It Cheaper, which looked at companies with fewer than 10 employees. The survey was designed to identify the impact of the Government's spending review (and to show how handy it is to compare prices of things when you’re looking to buy stuff, of course).

So, small business is scrimping. That’s not exactly the message that David Cameron will be playing up right now, as he throws his weight behind Global Entrepreneurship Week UK. The Big D is urging ‘an injection of self-belief and dynamism’ and reckons the ‘future of our economy depends on a new generation of entrepreneurs coming up with ideas, resolving to make them a reality and having the vision to create wealth and jobs’.

Far be it from us to point out the subtext to that: that we’re all out of ideas, so if you could think of some on your way through that’d be really handy. And best not mention the fact that, if you do set up a company, you’ll probably need to be doing so on the cheap.

Sir Terry Leahy’s been similarly gung-ho about our prospects this week, speaking highly of Britain’s ‘winning spirit’ and saying that the British need to ‘take more risks’. It’s good to hear such a stalwart of British business giving UK plc a dose of positive reinforcement.

The only question to ask Sir Terry is whether there are the resources around to do so, now that all sources of funding have dried up, as a consequence of the banking industry taking – yep – too many risks. And whether business will be so straightforward given that no one’s got the spare loot to spend on people’s services any more. Tricky, isn’t it.

Business secretary Vince Cable is perhaps finding that out. He announces a new Entrepreneurs' Forum today, from which he’ll be pilfering his ideas. He will also make a speech to encourage people ‘to make a job, not take a job’. Maybe our politicians should do the same thing with their solutions…

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