Brown Leaves Small Businesses Feeling Blue

The number of small businesses who believe they are better off today under Gordon Brown’s leadership than when he was appointed 18 months ago has plummeted by 69.8%.

This is the finding of a survey conducted by Unicom, a specialist in telecommunication services for small business, which this week asked 230 companies calling into its contact centre whether they felt better, worse or indifferent to Brown’s leadership since he came to office.

Only 5.2% (12 companies) out of the 230 companies questioned said they felt better, 45.2% (104) said they felt worse, and the remaining 49.6% (114) said they were indifferent to Browns leadership.

Businesses were asked how they anticipated the change in leadership would affect their business; for better, worse or indifferent. The results show a huge decline in confidence for the PM when compared with the same survey conducted by Unicom back in June 2007 when Gordon Brown came to power.

Those who feel better under his leadership have declined from 17.2% in June 07 to 5.2% today – a fall of 69.8% and those who feel worse has increase from 25.7% in June 07 to 45.2% today – an increase of 75.9%.

“Unicom’s customers are a good barometer of small businesses nationally. Gordon Brown’s time as Prime minister has been of mixed fortune, but it seems attempts to win back the confidence of small business owners have not been successful,” said Chris Earle, Operations Director, Unicom.

“Our survey conducted at the end of November when the government announced a reduction in VAT showed that less than a fifth of business owners felt that the decision to reduce VAT would benefit them, despite the fact that only 26% would be reducing their prices by 2.5%.

“Thanks to a long period of strong economic growth in the UK, a large proportion of small business owners have never had to face the effects of economic slowdown and their confidence during these uncertain times depends heavily on how they judge the competence of the man in charge of the economy.

“At least Unicom’s customers can been reassured they will not receive any nasty surprises on their phone bills during the credit crunch with prices for most customers frozen for up to three years and savings of up to 73% off BT Business Standard rates.”

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