Thanks to the likes of tax avoidance and supply chain bullying, British businesses will face a "crisis of trust" if the next government does not take steps to ensure fairness and ethical conduct, according to a survey by the Forum of Private Business (FPB).
The survey revealed that some 76% of 2,000 respondents believe that major companies will place profits over ethical standards and that penalties should be handed out to big businesses that act unfairly towards smaller firms. The consensus is that larger corporations have no concern for smaller companies.
FPB chief executive Phil Orford said: "The view of the British public is clear: we are facing a crisis of trust in big business and the UK wants the next government to respond accordingly, safeguarding the UK's small business community.
"From tax avoidance and high street domination to late payment and supply chain abuse - every week our members tell us that some of the biggest names in British business are threatening their livelihoods."
In light of such large scale corporate iniquity, politicians need to ensure fairness prevails, said Orford.
"There must be a balance between the need to attract the world's biggest companies to Britain, ensuring we have the best environment for business, and protecting the interests of the UK's hardworking independent small business people," he said.
"It is time for Britain's honest workers who play by the rules to have their say and it's time for their interests to be heard."