Infrastructure improvements top the bill for UK SMEs

Infrastructure improvements should be a priority for the government, according to two fifths of the country’s SMEs who were questioned as part of a new report.


Investment into infrastructure was ranked ahead of health, education and energy services by 40% of the businesses questioned on the Close Brothers Business Barometer.


They believe it is what is required for the UK economy to prosper as a strong infrastructure drives the success of supply chains that support many of the smaller businesses.


The quarterly survey seeks the opinions of small business owners and those in management positions and the results were backed by Close Brothers Invoice Finance chief executive David Thomson.


He suggested that a first-class infrastructure is vital to the long-term future of the economy and that it will ultimately drive success for many small businesses.


The government recently announced plans for a national infrastructure plan that will see £375 billion pumped into services from public and private investment funds.


It is looking to improve energy transport, flood defences, water management and communications until at least 2030.


“This expenditure will not only create jobs and stimulate the economy in the short term, but with upgraded networks in place, the UK will be better positioned to attract foreign investment and ensure long-term growth and prosperity,” explained Mr Thomson.


A quarter of the SMEs surveyed by the Close Brothers Business Barometer see modern infrastructure as a key component of growth.


Efficiency is improved and unnecessary costs can be reduced – ultimately helping the bottom line for businesses.


Alternatively, those who are struggling with their cash flows could seek corporate insolvency advice to decide on how best to manage the running of their business.


If done early enough, any supply chain issues could be overcome and the company could continue trading in a way that is beneficial for owners, investors and workers.


Aspects such as superfast broadband will boost online trading and enable businesses to reach out to a far greater proportion of the world.


By Phil Smith


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