Welcome to SME Alliance
We are a business community and a business network who want to be heard. Not just about the banks and financial issues but about all the things that affect SMEs. Which isn't to say they're all bad things but even the good things could, in our opinion, sometimes be better if people making policy, asked SMEs what they really want and what they really need? Meanwhile, a lot of the really bad things could be resolved more rapidly if the SMEs and their practical voices were listened to.
For example – while many SMEs have been the victims of the multiple and varied examples of banking malpractice, what say do we have in the resolution of such things? And who do we talk to when the only relief is civil litigation which involves such prohibitive costs, often against major institutions with very deep pockets (shareholders money), we are automatically barred from the justice system?
Another example - equally important – why is big business so adept at paying little or no tax while SMEs are hounded for every penny and treated to draconian penalties if they make a genuine mistake? And who do we talk to when business rates are so high SMEs can't afford them? How can it help the economy, employment figures or society when SMEs are so often forced to close down through no fault of their own?
A while ago, these and other SME related issues were all being debated on twitter by a group of like minded business people and we realised, if we want change, who better to press for it than us - SMEs. That's how SME Alliance was formed and we've gone from strength to strength. As much as anything, we are a support group. We're sharing knowledge, experience and in some cases (particularly banking) even evidence. A problem shared, in our case, is a problem with a team of people willing to help find a resolution or give support. On twitter, on our website and in our meetings, we are collaborating with each other on a regular basis.
And the most important issue that brought us all together was and is: why, when the SME sector represents 4.9M businesses in the UK which employ over 20M people, do Government and policy makers have so little direct contact with us? Not so long ago every political party in the Country was turning somersaults to keep the Scottish vote – and the SME sector, which includes many Scottish businesses, represents four times the Scottish vote. So how comes no one is trying to keep SMEs happy and get the SME vote?
Also, what a waste of resource? Entrepreneurs are endlessly coming up with good ideas for business. Why is the Government not asking SMEs for their ideas on how we get the economy back on its feet?
So that's what we're about. Everyone agrees SMEs are the backbone of the Country. At SME Alliance, we want to have a voice as well – and one that will be heard.