Government needs to help boost sme confidence

New data suggesting that business confidence across the UK has fallen to its lowest since January 2014 has inspired calls for Government intervention.

In recent days, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank (CYBG) has said that the Government needs to extend greater support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to boost waning confidence under the shadow of Brexit.

The calls come after new figures from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) revealed that SME confidence fell by 9.4 per cent between the second (Q2) and third (Q3) quarters of 2017.

According to the group’s latest SME Health Check Index, which tracks business confidence throughout the year, indicators for revenue, employment, net business creation and general confidence were all noticeably down on figures recorded during the previous quarter.

The research reveals that businesses in the North of England and SMEs in the Midlands suffered the sharpest falls between the two quarters.

By comparison, businesses in London and South East England were not so severely hit. However, the report did note a ‘substantial growth gap’ between City businesses and those located elsewhere in the South East.

The CYBG says that the Government needs to extend greater support to SMEs, amid concerns that many are struggling with rising costs coupled with waning confidence and morale.

Graeme Sands, of the CYBG, said: “The recent announcements made by the Chancellor in his Budget to help SMEs, especially on business rates, were very welcome.

“However, what is clear is that more needs to be done in the short-term to help boost confidence amongst SMEs while we wait for the longer-term benefits of some of these policies to take effect.” 

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