Difficult times ahead for small businesses
The latest Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Small Business Index (SBI) published recently shows that small firms in the UK are most concerned about weak economic growth, reducing consumer demand and high lending rates having a detrimental effect upon the growth of their businesses.
More than half of the small companies surveyed now regard the domestic environment as a significant barrier to growth. The persistent political uncertainty and concerns associated with planning, or not planning, for Brexit are having a seriously negative impact and are considered to be the primary concern for constraining growth.
The SBI measure of UK small business confidence has fallen to -9.9, the lowest level since the wake of the financial crash in 2011. The outlook is bleak as 67% of small firms do not expect their performance to improve this quarter, with those in the accommodation and food services, retail and manufacturing sectors reporting the worst results.