We all know the corner shop is a lifeline when we’ve forgotten that pint of milk or loaf of bread.
But few of us appreciate just how big our small businesses are – or the opportunities they can offer such as jobs on our doorsteps.
Small businesses like shops, accountancy firms and garages make up 99 per cent of the 5.2 million businesses in the UK and, while creating jobs, growth and prosperity for millions of people, they have played a major role in lifting our country out of the recession.
With a new Government elected a month ago, small businesses are asking our politicians to help them grow further still.
A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) produced a top ten shopping list that owners of small businesses want the Government to focus on over the next five years.
Reducing the regulatory burden came top (53 per cent), followed by a more simplified tax system (51 per cent) and reform of business rates (41 per cent).
Next came improve the employability skills of young people (41 per cent), improve broadband/mobile connectivity (39 per cent) and help the UK’s small businesses to create more jobs (34 per cent).
Mike Cherry, the national policy chairman with the FSB, said small businesses want “a supportive, light touch tax and regulatory environment in which to grow their business, creating prosperity and jobs”.
He continued: “Over the five years of this Parliament, our members’ top priorities are to lighten the burdens of regulation and tax, reform broken business rates, support the development and skills of young people and improve broadband and mobile connectivity.”