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FSB Research ‘Shows Tide Is Turning For SMEs’

Legal Expert Calls On Growing Firms To Be Prepared And Seek Advice


By Rob Dixon

Further research showing that confidence among small businesses in the UK is on the rise is a welcome sign but also one that highlights the need for such firms to prepare for the future, business legal specialists at Irwin Mitchell have warned.

The latest Small Business Index from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that confidence among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) now stands at its highest level in three years, with the index reaching 15.9 points in the second quarter.

It also revealed that firms in the financial services sector had the highest confidence levels, while small manufacturers are also increasingly optimistic about their prospects. In addition, confidence among real estate firms is improving.

The release of the research comes just weeks after the SME Trends survey by the Confederation of British Industry revealed growing businesses in the manufacturing sector are upbeat about the coming months.

Fergal Dowling, a Partner and expert in employment law at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, is part of the firm’s SME group – an initiative based around providing advice to small businesses in relation to a range of issues.

Commenting on the FSB index, he said: “We are increasingly seeing sentiment which suggests the tide has turned for SMEs and they are becoming increasingly optimistic about the opportunities which are set to emerge in the coming months.

“However, while the future does look bright, this means it is also time for such companies to carefully consider how they expect to adapt in light of more opportunities – primarily, how they can enjoy a smooth expansion and be prepared for the various legal issues which may arise.

“Getting the right advice from experts at the earliest opportunity is key to tackling any growing pains which can be inevitable, such as the need to ensure HR processes are able to cope with an increased headcount and are compliant with regulations.

“The right support can make all the difference and ensuring that companies are fully prepared for what the future may bring.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to SMEs