Theresa May’s Government today stands accused of failing to back small businesses, in a report due to be launched by Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
A damning poll reveals three in five people think the Tories are letting down the army of small firms which are vital to the economy and town centres.
The findings come from a YouGov survey of 1,644 adults for the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, which was founded by Margaret Thatcher.
It revealed 60% of people believed the Government “is not on the side of small business”, with just 14% disagreeing.
Some 26% did not know.
The 59-page Think Small study, due to be unveiled in London today by Mr Javid, calls on ministers to overhaul taxes for small businesses, some of which are the lifeblood of town centres.
The Mirror has waged a High Street Fightback campaign – and a shake-up could fuel a revival of our ailing town centres.
Report author Nick King, head of business at the Centre for Policy Studies, said: “Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy, making up more than 99% of all businesses.
“Government has a duty to protect their interests so our economy can continue to thrive.
“But the current one-size-fits-all model is failing small business; too many of them are strangled by paperwork, bureaucracy and administration, costing them time and money.
“The polling commissioned for this report shows both the public and owners and managers of small businesses do not think the Government is on the side of small businesses, but that it should be.”
Mr Javid, who is expected to run in the race to succeed Mrs May, said last night: “Small businesses are the engine of the British economy and the millions of people who run businesses up and down the country deserve the Government’s full support.
“This report shows how bureaucracy and paperwork are stifling the growth of our small businesses and offers a series of compelling ideas for how Government can roll back the tide and show that the Conservatives are backing entrepreneurs.”