AXA Business Insurance

AXA Business Insurance

June 05, 2013 06:59 ET

SMEs Unaware of Initiatives to Support Them

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - June 5, 2013) - A study by AXA Business Insurance across more than 500 SMEs and micro SMEs in the UK suggests that many are unaware of the initiatives in place designed to help them.

The research, carried out shortly after the March 2013 budget, revealed that a quarter of small business owners were unaware of the reduction in the rate of corporation tax and of those that said they were, only 13% could state the correct rate.

Meanwhile, nearly half of all business owners were unaware of the ongoing government initiative to reduce red tape for small businesses and only 5% knew for sure they were in an enterprise zone with around a third having never even heard of enterprise zones. One in four were unaware of the scheme to roll out superfast broadband connections across the UK and 17% had no knowledge of apprenticeship schemes.

It seems that for those that are aware of these initiatives, they are far from sure that they are working for them. Just 7% believe that there has in reality been a reduction in red tape with an even smaller 4% saying it has saved them any money. 2% believe they have seen any benefit as a result of being in an Enterprise Zone.

When it came to finances, while being able to secure lending and/or funding ranked as the number two concern (after fuel costs) for small business owners, many were unaware of the funding options that may be available to them. Half (49%) had not heard of the funding for lending scheme, 53% were unaware of plans for a Business Bank while 71% had not heard of crowdsource or crowd funding.

And despite the phenomenal growth in peer to peer lending, 54% of small business owners were unaware of its existence.

Of those that were aware of the funding for lending scheme, just 5% believed that it was working for small businesses. And only 9% were very confident that the new Business Bank would lend to small business owners.

Darrell Sansom, Managing Director of AXA Business Insurance said: "The numbers of small businesses in the UK continue to climb rapidly but it seems that many could be missing opportunities to help their business along the way through a lack of awareness of the support that may be available to them.

"We are also concerned that among those that are more aware, many are not seeing the benefit that they would want. As one of the biggest insurers of SMEs in the UK, we are keen to see them grow and develop into bigger and healthier concerns so we would urge government to ensure that the various support schemes that have been created for SMEs receive the commensurate degree of promotion and awareness to support what is the heart of British Business."

Notes to Editors

Research was carried out on-line among 500 SME business owners or decision makers in the UK.

About AXA Business Insurance

AXA Business Insurance is part of AXA Insurance UK plc, which belongs to the AXA group of companies. With us, you choose the business insurance that's right for you. We offer public liability, employers' liability and professional indemnity insurance online to start ups, sole traders, self-employed people and small businesses. In addition we offer van insurance and landlord insurance. AXA Business Insurance also runs Business Guardian Angel which provides resources to help protect and grow small businesses.

You can follow AXA Business Insurance on Twitter @AXAbizteam, for business insurance help, and @AXABizAngel, for the latest business news. You'll also find AXA Business Insurance on Google+ and Facebook - and you can watch expert guides and business case studies on the AXA Business Insurance YouTube channel.

About AXA

The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with more than 163,000 employees serving 102 million clients in 57 countries. In 2012, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 90.1 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 4.3 billion. AXA had Euro 1,116 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2012.

In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth, AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary, AXA Personal Direct and Partnerships, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 12,000 staff in the UK.

The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 - Bloomberg: CS FP - Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA's American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.

The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.

It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme's Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.

Contact Information

  • AXA Business Insurance press office
    Miranda Seymour
    0208 246 6853/07966 549413