Businesses need positive assistance to help them access the assistance available to them the Federation of Small Business has claimed.
Launching a policy paper ahead of the May Assembly elections , the FSB said a quarter had highlighted a lack of business support as a primary obstacle to success - despite the existence of business support available from 200 publicly funded organisations.
In addition to Northern Ireland having the lowest business birth rate in the UK, the figures obtained from FSB commissioned research, conducted by the Ulster Business School in November, demonstrates the need for co-ordinated action to ensure better signposting and advice.
The paper - Business Support in Northern Ireland - outlines how the myriad of advice and support for local small businesses can be made readily accessible to small businesses through a local Small Business Advice Centre Network operating throughout Northern Ireland and a Small Business Advocate.
“Northern Ireland is a small business economy, accounting for over 75% of private sector turnover and sustaining more jobs than all large businesses and the public sector combined,” said Wilfred Mitchell, FSBpolicy chairman for Northern Ireland.
“Proportionately, the Northern Ireland economy has a greater reliance on small businesses than the UK as a whole, making protection and promotion of SMEs vital to boost the local economy.
“This paper will look at the realities behind the engagement between government and business to consider how it can be improved and ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly elections, set out how to rectify the mis-match between Government policy and funding with the practical needs of small business owners to grow and succeed.”