Macroeconomic troubles are causing UK SMEs to delay investment. Smith and Williamson’s quarterly Enterprise Index survey indicates that nearly a third of the UK's small businesses have put growth plans on hold to see how the future pans out. What's causing these high levels of concern?
Continued unrest across the Continent, emanating primarily from the refugee crisis and Greece's debt, is one of the main factors underpinning the slowdown. This year has also been punctuated by climactic events further afield, including China's 'Black Monday' and crashing share values in many international pharmaceutical companies. While SMEs are by no means united in their response to the prospect of a UK 'Brexit', there's no doubt that the coming EU referendum is also causing bosses to pause for thought when signing off new projects.
It's important to note, however, that while the media is reporting that macroeconomic issues are putting roadblocks in the way of small businesses' growth plans, there are plenty of domestic factors that are worsening this paralysis. Changes to the UK's tax rules, introduction of the National Living Wage and a less-than-optimal annual investment allowance are undoubtedly making things tough too.
Growing SMEs are widely regarded as a key indicator of economic health. Small businesses create jobs and stimulate national economies in a way that few other entities can match. In this context, it's crucial that governments take measures to bolster confidence among business owners; 87% of companies surveyed by Smith and Williamson stated that they would benefit from extra government help with exports.
The above statistic shows that British SMEs are willing to navigate large macroeconomic problems if they can count on the right support. It's also clear that micro-level domestic changes can have compound effects on the entire business landscape. Ethical Enforcement Agents like Dukes Bailiffs can offer small businesses the chance to secure their cash flows and avoid writing off supplier debts, thereby creating a financial cushion on which growing business confidence can rest.
If you work for a small business and don't know where to turn, contact a Dukes Debt Advisor to discuss how our ethical recovery service could give you room to grow.