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SMEs to champion the recovery

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SMEs account for £1.6trn of total national business turnover – greater than the whole of the FTSE 100.

A new research report, commissioned by British Gas Business, shows that SMEs spend £1.1trn on their supply chain annually – that’s 49 per cent of UK business expenditure. SMEs also account for £1.6trn of total national business turnover, greater than the whole of the FTSE 100.

Other findings in the report include:

  • SMEs account for 53 per cent of business tax contributions
  • For every person employed in an SME, £81,000 a year flows into suppliers of these businesses

The research, conducted by economic consultants Cebr and commissioned by British Gas Business, is a positive story in an otherwise gloomy holiday period for SMEs.

British Gas Business’s report forecasts a record 312,000 startups will be created by the end of 2010 and a further 297,000 in 2011.

While not all of these businesses are expected to survive, they will help towards replacing the 330,000 jobs estimated to be lost as a result of severe public spending cuts through to 2015.

“SMEs are engines of economic growth,” says Kanat Emiroglu, MD of British Gas Business. “But unless we create the right conditions to allow them to thrive, economic recovery remains far from assured.”

The report marks the successful launch of British Gas Business’s Purchase Power scheme, where the company is using its own purchasing power to negotiate deals ahd discounts which are then passed down to its SME customers.

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