Despite the prospect of a triple-dip recession, the UK’s small businesses are cautiously optimistic about prospects over the next few months...
...well, according to a regular report by leading serviced-office provider Business Environment*
The report, based on a survey of 300 senior business people in small firms, found that:
- 70% of small businesses expected their sector to grow in the coming quarter.
- 58% were either “confident” or “very confident” in the UK economy’s prospects over the first three months of 2013, and
- 33% of those surveyed said they expected their business to expand.
This comes after a final quarter of 2012 in which businesses reported overwhelming stability as can be seen by these statistics:
- 62% reported that turnover remained the same when compared to the preceding quarter.
- 48% percent stated that employee headcounts had remained constant during the same period.
“One of the main messages to come from the report was that while few companies are thriving, a large amount are on an even keel. Businesses are beginning to adjust to austerity and reduced consumer demand. “We see this reflected in the survey’s findings. Companies remain confident about the long-term prospects for their firms. Companies complain about bank lending, but few expect the economy to tank in 2013." says David Saul, managing director of Business Environment. Strikingly, the survey found that the smaller the firm, the more positive they were about their business’ future: When asked about the longevity of their business, the percentage of those answering “positive” or “very positive” fell exponentially as follows:
- 68% of firms with between 1 and 9 employees,
- 66% of firms with between 10 and 49 employees,
- 65% of firms with between 50 and 99 employees,
- 59% of firms with between 100 and 249 employees, and
- 55% of firms with more than 250 employees.