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Majority Of SMEs Look To Invest In Growth In 2014

Access To Finance Still A Barrier For Many


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

The vast majority (97%) of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are planning to invest in growing their business during 2014.
The survey by Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks found that businesses were looking to grow due to an increase in demand and an uplift in economic confidence.
The research indicates that SMEs plan to invest an average of 10% of turnover on growth .

There were however noticeable differences in investment priorities according to the size of the organisation.

Small businesses employing between 10-49 members of staff were most likely to bring in news staff. Firms with between 50 and 249 employees were said to be focused on expanding into new markets.

The survey did reveal some challenges for SMEs, with a quarter of those surveyed stating that the availability of funding was a big issue for them.

Paul Shephard, Director for Business and Private Banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said:
“These are encouraging results and echo recent official growth figures.  They suggest many SMEs are at the point where they feel more certain about investing in their businesses.  As the majority of UK companies are small and medium sized businesses, this has to be good for the economy as a whole.
“It’s important that we recognise and understand that there are still barriers to growth for some businesses.  Access to funding has changed across the market place, but it is available to well-managed businesses with strong plans for growth."

Expert Opinion
These are certainly encouraging results which point to an increase in confidence, but crucially an increase in demand. SMEs clearly see opportunities for growth here it looks like 2014 could be very strong.

“We cannot be complacent, however, and it is clear also from this study that more needs to be done to support smaller businesses, including access to finance. SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy and it is vital that they have the opportunity to realise their growth ambitions.”
Fergal Dowling, Partner