The Forum of Private Business (FPB), which represents 25,000 small-to-medium sized firms said Labour's taxation and 'family friendly' policies had angered many bosses who are becoming increasingly sceptical about Labour.
"The next five years are going to be extremely tough for small businesses if Labour decides to keep increasing national insurance contributions, the minimum wage and fuel duty,' says the FPB's chief executive Nick Goulding.
"Red tape and an extension to maternity rights are making it harder for businesses to be flexible and respond to market and consumer demand. If Labour believes in creating a business environment, as it says it does, it must reduce taxation and regulation."
Goulding said Labour must use its third term to improve skills training.
"The shortage of vocational skills relevant to the workplace is of critical concern,' he said. "Business owners are telling us that too many young people are arriving in the workplace from school, college and university who cannot spell or count to a competent level. Labour is right to focus attention on improving skills, but again the proof is in the pudding. Employers will not be patient in waiting for Labour to deliver more young people with vocation skills."
Goulding also said the FPB has made plain, in its own election manifesto, that businesses need policies that support growth, enterprise and productivity.
"The new Government needs to give control to businesses, enabling management decisions to be made quickly and easily. Furthermore, it must provide small businesses with a flexible trading structure, which can adapt relatively quickly and easily to changing business needs. These two basic principles will ensure a number of small businesses in the UK will go on to become large businesses of the future. It should not be forgotten that there are four million small to medium-sized businesses in the UK, providing more than 12 million jobs, employing 58% of private sector workers and contributing 52.4% of the UK's GDP."
FPB’s views on key business related issues: