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Media comment: We must do better to unlock the potential of UK SMEs

8 February 2022

Dear editor,  

When I read this morning in The Financial Times that only about 2,500 of UK SMEs, less than a tenth of target, had enrolled in the government’s Help to Grow programme I was disappointed, but not surprised. SMEs play crucial part in our economy accounting for around half in the UK private sector turnover – they drive business growth, provide employment opportunities and will be one of the major driving forces behind our economic recovery and delivering the government’s Levelling Up Agenda.

Our own research, Tackling the U.K. Productivity Puzzle, we highlighted that the programme only had enough funding for 0.5% of UK SMEs and was not of the scale to support the bulk of our 5.6 million UK SMEs. We must do better to support SMEs or risk hampering our ability to generate long-term economic growth and achieve the productivity boost the country so desperately needs.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive — Management Accounting
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the unified voice of AICPA & CIMA