SMEs growing at twice the rate they are shrinking, report finds

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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are growing at twice the rate they are shrinking, a new study has revealed.

The report, published by insurance provider Zurich, also suggests that business risk has reached its lowest level in four years.

The study is based on Zurich’s SME Risk Index, which found a nine per cent dip in business risk over the course of the last six months.

According to Zurich, the index currently sits at a healthy 36.72 points.

Their research also revealed a noteworthy fall in the number of SMEs that felt burdened by “red tape” and “workforce challenges”.

It found that less than a third of SMEs now see “red tape” as an obstacle to their business, with the same amount seeing “workplace challenges” as a burden.

Meanwhile, Zurich found a decrease in the number of firms that had been forced to reduce costs or make staff cuts – while twice as many businesses told the insurance provider that their business was “growing rapidly”, in comparison to six months before.

Anne Griffiths, of Zurich, said: “Small business has been through the mill over the past four years, due to a changeable business environment of fluctuating political and economic concern.

“There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for small businesses, though.

“Workforce challenges and concerns over business risk are at a four-year low and businesses are growing at twice the rate they are shrinking in the UK.

“The SME community has long been the economic heartbeat of the United Kingdom, and while fixing the economy remains the highest priority, the wider picture is one of success, prosperity, and most importantly, optimism.”