Clear majority of smaller firms confident about the future

Blog SMEs

Nearly three quarters of small businesses are expecting to see either dramatic or moderate growth over the next two years.

A new report revealed that 73 per cent of firms with five or more employees were confident they would expand during this timeframe.

A total of 1,000 smaller companies took part in the poll and of these only one in 20 feared that they may have to downsize or wind-up their operation in the near future.

For the sizeable majority of businesses who are optimistic about their growth prospects, the main challenges they identified included red tape, finding staff with the necessary skills to do the job and securing the finance to expand.

Interestingly reaction to the recent EU referendum – and the view about whether it would have a damaging impact – seemed to vary depending on where a business was based.

The vote for Brexit weighed far more heavily on the minds of company owners in London and Scotland – which were among the parts of the country most strongly in favour of remaining part of the 28-nation bloc.

Patrick Reeve, managing partner at venture capital firm Albion Ventures, which carried out the research, said: “Against a backdrop of profound change, one element that has remained reassuringly unchanged is the optimism underlying the UK’s small businesses.

“The downside is that the economy is coming under capacity constraints at a time of considerable political uncertainty. While many of the pressures on growth we have seen in recent years have eased, the skills that enable us to compete are in short supply.”