Prospects for the UK’s financial service and accountancy small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been lifted by research from The Co-operative Bank, which found that 58% of those in the sector believe their sales and orders will rise during 2013.
The findings of the study, carried out on the bank’s behalf by YouGov, also show that almost a third (30%) expect to take on new staff, while 26% plan investment in their business, such as for new equipment or improvements to premises.
“SMEs and entrepreneurs are widely acknowledged as vital to Britain’s economic recovery so these results are good news as we head in to 2013,” said Keith Alderson, managing director of corporate and business banking at The Co-operative Bank.
“As the curtain closes on another tough year it seems many SMEs in financial services and accountancy are now looking forward with a cautious sense of optimism about the challenges for their businesses next year.
“We see this entrepreneurial spirit day-in, day-out in our dealings with customers and I’m not surprised that SMEs are adapting and exploring new markets to overcome the economic challenges.”
Asked about the main challenges facing their business in 2013, nine in 10 said the current economic climate is their main concern. This was followed by red tape and regulation with 50%, cashflow (24%) and rising energy costs (16%).
The study also found that just 14% felt sales and orders would fall in 2013 although a fifth (20%) said they had suffered a decline in 2012.
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