SMEs confident about short-term growth prospects despite Brexit uncertainties

A new study carried out by Wesleyan Bank suggests that almost two thirds (65 per cent) of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are feeling confident about their short-term growth prospects despite Brexit-related uncertainties.

According to the bank’s latest SME Heroes or Zeros report, which was published earlier this week, the majority of the 500 firms Wesleyan surveyed are expecting to grow by anywhere up to 40 per cent over the course of the next two years.

Meanwhile, 54 per cent of SME respondents told the bank that they are feeling ‘more confident’ about their business’ growth prospects today than they were this time last year.

More than three quarters (28 per cent) of firms said that they would not let Brexit alter their business’ short-term growth strategy, while only 11 per cent said that they were ‘concerned’ that Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) might have a negative impact on their day-to-day operations.

Furthermore, the survey also found that small businesses are increasingly exploring alternative finance options in their efforts to realise their ambitious growth plans.

The latest SME Heroes or Zeros report reveals that 59 per cent of SMEs have used external funding on at least one occasion in the past year, up from just 30 per cent of firms that said the same during 2017’s survey.

Paul Slapa, of Wesleyan, said: “The UK’s economic outlook is often clouded by negativity, but this research highlights that SMEs are performing strongly and have built solid foundations to prosper, both pre and post Brexit.

“Unless there is a material impact on their business today, there is no reason why SMEs should put on hold their investment plans to sustain and maximise growth.”