British firms hopeful of growth despite Brexit

The majority of the UK’s network of small businesses remain hopeful of seeing growth in the coming six months, despite uncertainty surrounding the EU vote.

Although the research from Enterprise Nation found that 68% of firms expect growth in the final quarter, a quarter are more fearful for their long term futures than they were in the past.

Of those firms, 24% blamed uncertainty over Brexit and 16% said the economy was now less favourable towards their business.

A total of 800 small firms were polled for the research and the majority had been trading for less than six years.

A quarter have existed for between one and three years and 81% of all firms were confident they would still be trading 12 months from now.

Research from Ormsby Street suggests that 60% of small firms will cease trading after five years, although 91% will survive their first year – this suggests it is in the intervening years where something goes awry.

Any firm fearing for its financial future should consider an independent business review in order to uncover areas where efficiency could be improved, while turnaround management can enable existing business leaders to find the best solutions.

Further figures from BDRC Continental show a fall in appetite for loan and overdraft finances, although firms are assessing the alternative finance options available to them in greater numbers.

Self-funding growth through retained profits is a popular option for driving growth while others are looking to trade credit as another possibility.

Of the firms expecting growth, 59% said the launch of a new product or service was likely to be the driving factor.

Fears over access to EU workers was an issue highlighted by the British Chambers of Commerce, although they have suggested that it remains too early to truly assess the effects of the referendum on overseas trade.

By Phil Smith


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