ALMOST four out of five small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe their business will grow in the next 12 months despite a tougher economy, research claims.
Accountancy Smith & Williamson’s latest Enterprise Index, a quarterly barometer testing the views of around 200 business leaders and entrepreneurs, found 78 per cent are predicting growth while only 37 per cent expect the economy to improve over the coming year, down from 50 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.
“We’re looking at a wobble in confidence; entrepreneurs are naturally positive but are understandably less so as the consequences of the triggering of Article 50 and the ramifications of an unexpected general election result sink in,” Guy Rigby, head of entrepreneurial services at Smith & Williamson, said.
The index also found just 48 per cent of SMEs believed the government had their best interests at heart.
Rigby said the government needs to support SMEs, especially when it comes to the Brexit negotiations.
“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of Britain’s future,” Rigby added.
“They need looking after, and definitely fewer shocks. Uncertainty is not the businessman’s friend but, due to circumstances outside their control, that is the situation that faces them.
“The onus is on the government to change this but perhaps the leaders of larger businesses need to start coming to the fore. SMEs face a challenging period and they need everyone to pitch in to ensure the United Kingdom remains the premier place to start, develop and scale-up a business.”
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