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Broadband & Business

A new poll of small businesses has revealed fixed-line and mobile broadband connectivity to be a key issue for UK entrepreneurs.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) asked company bosses to identify the main concerns they want the new Conservative government to address.

Broadband was the fifth-most commonly cited 'key issue' for David Cameron's administration to look at, with 39 per cent of small businesses hoping for action on fixed-line speeds and coverage.

Only regulation (53 per cent), the tax system (51 per cent), business rates (44 per cent) and young people's skills (41 per cent) were seen as being greater priorities.

The other issues small businesses want to see addressed by the new government include job creation (34 per cent), late payment (33 per cent), energy costs (30 per cent), access to finance (28 per cent) and infrastructure investment (26 per cent).

Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman at the FSB, said the research sends "a very clear message" on what small businesses want from the new government.

He claimed business owners want a "supportive, light touch tax and regulatory environment" in which to grow their business, creating prosperity and jobs.

"Over the five years of this parliament, our member's top priorities are to lighten the burdens of regulation and tax, reform broken business rates, support the development and skills of young people, and improve broadband and mobile connectivity," Mr Cherry added.

"We look forward to meeting with ministers to discuss how we can help make this happen and continue to foster the economic conditions which allow enterprise to flourish."

Prior to the general election, the Conservative Party pledged to continue with its broadband rollout policies, in order to ensure 95 per cent of homes and businesses can access super-fast networks by 2017-18.

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