Is EU uncertainty negatively impacting on SMEs?

Around a third of small businesses in the UK have admitted to slowing investment plans in the wake of uncertainty surrounding the European Union, new research shows.


A lack of confidence in global economies, coupled with a potential ‘Grexit’ and macro-economic problems were all issues identified by the Smith and Williamson Enterprise Index to have influenced growth plans.


Tighter dividend tax rules also contributed to a fall of five points in the Index from its record high of 119.4 in June to 114.4 in September.


The introduction of a new National Living Wage has also caused some small businesses to halt investment plans as the funding may now be required in other areas.


According to Smith and Williamson, confidence in the Government among SMEs also fell during the quarter, as some aspects of Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget were reportedly not well received.


A drop of 10% is representative of a set of business owners that feel they are not getting the support they require.


Of further concern to some SMEs is the prospect of an interest rate increase in either the UK or the USA, while volatility in stock markets such as China is also undermining confidence levels.


Support with exporting was found to be one particular area that features high on the agenda of the vast majority (87%) of SMEs.


Help is not only key to driving growth but it can also provide a significant boost to a company’s turnover if the right approaches are taken.


This forms an essential part of business growth and ultimately impacts on the longevity of firm by ensuring that finances are place to deal with any problems that can arise.


UK insolvency practitioners can provide assistance and advice relating to a number of financial issues, giving firms an idea of what solutions are available to them.


Any firm that has underlying financial issues should get in contact as a matter of urgency, as dealing with issues as soon as they arise provides more opportunities to reach positive outcomes.


By Phil Smith


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