New research from FSB Wales has shone a light on the huge impact that smaller businesses have within their communities, and the business organisation has urged Welsh Government to harness this enthusiasm to help aid the economic recovery in Wales.
Recent FSB research, published in the report What we value: SMEs as the key to rebuilding Wales’ economy and communities found that 84% of smaller businesses have contributed towards their local community or charity, and 27% hold a position within their local community.
Small businesses are often locally rooted, creating good local jobs, investment in local communities and maintaining the health and diversity of Wales’ towns and high streets. In addition to this, small business owners are likely to have strong roles within their communities – something which has increased over the last year due to the impact of Coronavirus.
This report also recognises that there is huge uncertainty looming on the landscape of the architecture and available funding for business support. Providing clear and effective business support infrastructure is vital not just for SMEs’ economic recovery, but in growing them and maximising their contribution to the economy, and ensuring they can play their part in developing more sustainable, supported communities and economy.
FSB Wales has called on Vaughan Gething, the new Economy Minister to work with business groups on a recovery plan that will support those businesses that are so vital to Wales’ economy, communities, and society.
Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said:
“We know that smaller businesses are good for our economy. They create 62% of private sector employment and 38% of Wales’ turnover. Smaller businesses are in every town, village and city centre and represent the true vibrancy and diversity that Wales has to offer in every sector.
“This research demonstrates that Welsh businesses are not only vital to our economies, but they are also so much more.
“The pandemic has shown us countless examples of business owners standing up and backing their communities at such difficult times. They have instigated food deliveries to those that are shielding, they have repurposed their businesses to join PPE supply chains when supplies were short, they have supported each other and supported the areas that they are from.
“Moreover, 67% of small business owners said that they believe they have a responsibility to keep as many people in work as possible in the face of a troubling economic outlook.
“All of this demonstrates that small businesses are not just vital to our economy, but to our community and society, too. This makes the need to get the economic recovery from Coronavirus right, so that we maintain these community assets within our society.
“We hope to work with the new Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, on an ambitious plan to recover our economy and the small businesses within it, place them on a sustainable footing and empower them to grow and thrive in the future.”