Novuna Business Finance has released a new report shedding light on the urgent need for clarity among small businesses regarding the next Government’s stance on sustainability, as the UK General Election looms this year.

The report, titled Small Business Perspective on Sustainability – The Mandate for Support from a new UK Government, delves into the repercussions of recent policy reversals by the UK Government on critical green initiatives.

These include delays in phasing out petrol and diesel cars and shifts in renewable energy commitments. The document also examines small businesses’ concerns, ranging from limited access to grants and funding for green projects to a perceived lack of prioritization of environmental issues by major UK political parties.

Key issues highlighted in the report encompass the impact of policy U-turns, the call for stronger leadership from a new government, the necessity for enhanced financial support and green incentives, addressing regional disparities and industry-specific challenges, and the demand for greater education and awareness initiatives.

The top 10 policies small businesses would like to see from a new Government

The report reveals a significant surge in small businesses’ engagement with sustainability over the past two years. In February 2022, 58% of UK small businesses were working on sustainability initiatives, a figure that soared to 92% by February 2024. However, recent policy shifts have dampened enthusiasm, with many businesses feeling less confident about securing grants for green initiatives and adopting sustainable measures at a slower pace.

Looking ahead to the upcoming General Election, small businesses expressed their desires for proactive green policies from the new government. Top priorities include increased investment in renewable power to ensure the majority of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030 and substantial support for the green economy.

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Jo Morris, Head of Insight at Novuna Business Finance, stressed the importance of understanding small business viewpoints on sustainability issues. She emphasised the role of small businesses in supporting sustainability and called for their voices to be heard and their positive work recognised. The report aims to contribute towards a better understanding of small businesses’ needs and their crucial role in advancing sustainability.