SME websites key in driving sales and job growth

Small firms in the UK are being encouraged to increase their online engagement in order to boost sales and employment growth.

It comes in response to research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) which found that one in four small firms could be damaging their competitiveness by not having their own website.

As a consequence jobs and growth on local high streets could be under threat, it said.

It also found that only a third of small firms use a website for sales. The FSB called it a 'missed opportunity', particularly as most small firms are unable to compete with the large advertising budgets of bigger companies.

The FSB recently re-launched its Keep Trade Local campaign promoting local stores and high streets. During Local Business week (13-18 May 2013) it is calling on shoppers to buy three things from their local high street, shop or to use a local service.

Mike Cherry, national policy chairman, for the FSB, said: "Once the high street starts to go into decline it can be difficult to revive. But with the right measures from councils and local authorities the tide can be turned."

"We are supporting Local Business Week and its pledge for shoppers to buy three things on their local high street. However, we also want to see small firms maximise the opportunities that technology presents, so they can be competitive and grow their business and have a positive impact on the communities they rely on for business."