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UK SME growth rate at highest level since 2008, says report

Small businesses in the UK are growing at their fastest rate in seven years, says Enterprise Research Centre report.

The UK’s population of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is growing at its fastest rate of growth since the financial crisis in 2008, according to new research.

Published today, June 17th, the Enterprise Research Centre’s (ERC’s) report claimed that the private sector in Britain saw more than 600,000 new jobs added in 2014. Small businesses in the UK have now regained “the ground lost” in the recession as the economy continues to flourish.

Since the financial and economic crisis in 2008, around 13 million jobs were lost in the UK, according to ERC figures. However, net private sector job creation turned positive last year, as 13.4 million jobs have been created in the last seven years.

“Small and medium businesses in every corner of the UK have shrugged off adversity to create jobs and grow at the fastest rate since the financial crisis,” said Anna Soubry, small business minister.

“We will continue to back them and the 15 million people they employ by cutting red tape, setting up a Small Business Conciliation Service and looking at improving the business rates system.”

Only last month, newly appointed business secretary Sajid Javid outline the government’s plans to cut red tape for businesses by £10 billion over the next five years, and set up the conciliation service that was included in the Conservative manifesto.

“As part of our long-term economic plan, we will sweep away burdensome red tape, get heavy handed regulators off firms’ backs and create a small business conciliation service to help resolve disputes,” Mr Javid said in May.

“This will be the first time in modern history that government has successively reduced red tape costs for business over successive parliamentary terms. And business will be our partner giving us the evidence we need to roll back the state.”

The enterprise bill is due to be introduced later this year, and will also aim to ensure small businesses are repaid the £32 billion they are owed in late payments. It will be designed to help cut a path through the swathes of red tape, while extending the fight to include independent regulators for the first time. The government will also be looking to small businesses for advice on which burdens to tackle first.

“We want [small businesses] to be our partners in identifying and scrapping needless burdens at home and in Europe," said Ms Soubry.

“It’s important government gets behind small businesses - enabling them to get finance, get paid on time and get rid of red tape."

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