The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the government to introduce a VAT cut and a National Insurance Contributions (NICs) holiday to help struggling small firms.
The call comes after the federation’s Voice of Small Businesses index highlighted that confidence among small firms has dropped to -9.3.
This marked a 9.6 point drop in the third quarter and comes amid GDP being revised downwards and unemployment rising.
It is thought that NICs holiday would help encourage businesses to take on more staff, while a VAT cut would help boost consumer demand and give businesses a much-needed boost.
John Walker, national chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “As businesses come to terms with the double whammy of falling revenues and rising costs, it is no wonder that they’re losing confidence, and unfortunately, as their overheads increase one way to control it is to lay off staff.”
A recent survey from the FSB found that six per cent of the 1,600 businesses questioned feel that redundancies are inevitable before the turn of the year.