Small firms feel failed by Government, survey says

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Most smaller firms believe the Government and banks have not done enough to support them during the recession, according to a new study today.

A survey of 650 businesses by XLN Telecom showed most were dissatisfied with the Government's handling of the financial crisis.

Only one in four expressed any optimism about the coming year and nine out of 10 said small firms were having to carry "unfair tax burdens" as a result of banks being bailed out.

The survey showed 16% of firms expected to take on more staff this year, with one in 10 predicting job cuts, with almost two out of three expecting staffing levels to remain the same.

XLN chief executive Christian Nellemann said: "Our survey shows that in employment terms, small to medium-sized enterprises are starting to turn the corner, but they feel angry by the lack of meaningful support shown to them over the last 18 months by the Government."