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Welcome to the Survive and Succeed Campaign for SMEs

It’s been my dream to launch this campaign for over 20 years now so I’m very excited to finally see this become a reality.

What’s the campaign all about?

I believe that the long term survival rates of small businesses are unnecessarily low. In the UK a new business has around a 40% chance of surviving until its 5th birthday. Take that to 10 years and just 20% will still be in business.

Of course not every business has what it takes to survive, but we see so many sound businesses with huge potential but they just don’t have the financial resilience and skills to make sure they can survive. Finance is a major skills black hole in too many small companies.

The Government has a significant role to play in helping businesses survive for longer. We firmly believe that the new dividend tax will hurt small businesses, especially with all the additional costs we’re facing with Auto Enrolment, interest rates going up and minimum wage increases, and so we’re campaigning to ask the Government to reconsider this damaging tax.

There is significant investment and many programs to encourage start-ups, and we want to see more focussed attention on helping the companies in their early years.

We want to change the long term survival rates of SMEs in this country. because we know that with solid financial skills in their business and the right support from Government they can not only Survive, but Succeed.

We also want to challenge some of the main barriers facing small business owners:

  • Open the debate on the proposed increased tax on dividends – the cornerstone of how small business owners pay themselves and lobby Government on the issue.
  • Campaign for the Government to properly understand the real culture and sacrifice of being a small business owner and the contribution SMEs make to the UK economy.
  • Gain a commitment to a stable tax regime that gives business owners real stability to plan for the next few years and to plan for growth.
  • Address the issue of late payment by large companies to small companies, change the mind-set and approach to dealing with small companies, by reallyunderstanding what damage late payment does to their finances and chances of survival.

Update – October 2015

Interest in the campaign is increasing all the time, and we’ve passed through the 30,000 signatures mark – If you’ve already signed up to the petition then a BIG thank you – If you haven’t done so yet then please follow the link at the top of the page and add your support to the campaign.

Here’s an update from Serena (with the filing this time courtesty of Neale Lewis as Derby Business TV) on how things are going.

Updated October 21st

Survive and Succeed Campaign gains momentum – despite Soubry snub

Serena HumphreyThe founder of a national campaign, which has the  support of over 32,000 business leaders, aimed overturning the tax on directors’ dividend payments says she is “saddened and disappointed” that the Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, Anna Soubry  MP, has turned down an invitation to come and put forward the government’s case for small business success.

Survive & Succeed – the Campaign for Successful SMEs was set up by Serena Humphrey, owner of Nottingham-based financial training company The F Word and launched on 10th September at Hart’s in Nottingham. Since then, word has spread throughout the UK, with over 32,000 signatories on a petition.

Humphrey had invited MP Anna Soubry to speak at the campaign’s next event on 26th November in Nottingham, but has received a letter from the MP rejecting the chance to explain the government’s decision to tax directors’ dividends – which the campaign wants to overturn.

Serena says: “We all really want to work with the government to ensure that we can ensure that the business failure rate drops. The instant popularity of the campaign has shown that there is massive interest in scrapping the tax on dividends and helping SMEs have a better chance of surviving.

“It is therefore surprising, given its insistence that SMEs are part of their 5-year plan, that the person heading up this plan – a local Nottinghamshire MP – can’t find time to come and speak to worried business owners.”

In a letter to Campaign HQ, MP Anna Soubry said: “The government has already responded to your campaign by setting out the rationale for the tax changes. I do not have anything to add to that response, tax policy being a matter for HM Treasure.

“I appreciate your offer of a meeting. Unfortunately, I am unable to accept your invitation – as you will appreciate my diary is already heavily committed.”

As originally published by East Midlands Business Link October 2015