Energy costs are biggest issue facing small businesses
Energy costs and access to effective telecommunications, including broadband, are the most important infrastructure issues faced by small businesses, according to new research from the Forum of Private Business. The Referendum survey on Infrastructure for Growth is part of the Forum's Get Britain Trading campaign to help small firms. Research revealed that 80% of forum members believed that energy costs are very important, with 80% said that access to telecommunications and broadband is a problem particularly in rural locations. The reliability of energy supply is also a priority for 75% of respondents, followed by local banking services (73%) and local roads (65%). A total of 74% of members feel that their location is effective for their business needs, with proximity to good road networks the main reason. In London 74% of respondents believe that being based in the capital is proving effective for their businesses. In November's autumn statement the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced a number of measures to improve the UK's infrastructure in order to help businesses and drive economic growth, including nationwide rail improvements and road building schemes.