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Small business: is there a north-south divide?

Author

Andy Wood

Andy is a practical, creative tax adviser who assists a variety of clients in achieving their personal and commercial objectives in the most tax efficient manner.

Introduction

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, there is a big difference in confidence between businesses in Scotland, North England and Wales, compared to those in the Midlands and the South of England

The Small Business Index results for Q4 2015 reveal that although job creation, revenue and productivity are increasing, confidence is falling in many areas of the North, Scotland and Wales, and businesses in some of these areas fear being left behind.

What does the report say?

The report is not all doom and gloom though. There are many positives to take including:

  • 23% increase in business confidence compared to the same time in 2014
  • 59% of businesses expect growth, almost unchanged from same time 2014
  • 24% of businesses report revenue growth in the last quarter, the highest since 2010.

Source: http://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/latest-news/2016/01/18/north-south-divide-in-UK-small-business-confidence

Perhaps surprisingly, many smaller businesses also report that they have taken on more staff in the last 3 months, and others plan to do so during 2016. According to the FSB, smaller firms are becoming more productive and efficient too helping them to be more competitive and more profitable.

Conclusion

Despite the difference in confidence between the North and the South, these results show that overall the business mood is positive. Many companies are doing well, are looking to take on staff, and are actively trying to increase productivity and efficiency.

Read the whole report for yourself at http://www.fsb.org.uk/docs/default-source/fsb-org-uk/fsb-small-business-index-(sbi)-q4-2015a67087ba4fa86562a286ff0000dc48fe.pdf?

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