According to the latest release of the Owner Managed Business (OMB) Barometer from Bank of Cyprus UK, 40% of owner managed businesses don’t believe that small business issues are high enough on the political agenda.

The research found that while more than half (51%) of OMBs believe that although politicians consider the issues affecting small businesses, it is not a top political priority. Less than 10% of respondents believed that the needs of small businesses are a top political priority for all parties.

The OMB Barometer also revealed that small businesses are keen to pay higher wages to employees but feel that they need help from the Government. When asked what they would like to see the next Government do in order to better support their business, almost four in 10 (39%) small businesses requested tax breaks to enable them to pay the living wage. This wish comes as a quarter of OMBs say that they plan to increase staffing levels in the next 12 months.

Commenting on the research, Tony Leahy of Bank of Cyprus UK said: “With just eight days until the General Election, the economy and job security will no doubt play a leading role in voter’s considerations. The major political parties should therefore find it concerning that less than one in 10 small businesses feel that their issues are a significant priority for politicians.

“Small businesses face the most pressure when it comes to paying higher wages for employees but our research has shown that paying a living wage is an important consideration for them. With so much electioneering around support for “hard-working people”, it is clear that the new Government needs to help small business make this reality.”

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