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"Golden Age" For SMEs Thanks To Recession Changes

Record Numbers Of SMEs And Easier Access To Funding Transforms Outlook


Specialist business lawyers have urged SMEs to not ignore the importance of advice and support, after a leading enterprise advisor suggested such companies are currently experiencing a "golden age" thanks to changes brought about by the recession.

A new report by Lord Young, currently David Cameron's enterprise advisor, focuses on the UK's enterprise ecosystem. There are now five million established SMEs in the UK – an increase of 760,000 compared to 2010 – with a record number of startups launched last year.

The increase in numbers is attributed to changes brought about by the recession. Large numbers of those made redundant began their own businesses rather than attempting to find work with another company.

Enterprise investment schemes, tax breaks and increased funding options from banks and alternate providers have also been key factors.

Shafiq Khan, a partner at accountancy firm Clough & Company, which aims to assist entrepreneurs, said: "The recession has completely transformed the outlook for small businesses.

"During the downturn, huge numbers of people were made redundant and started businesses. Lots of those people have done very well with many starting to recruit and expand as both the economy and confidence improves.

"There is red tape and a tax system to overcome but there is plenty of help available to guide would-be entrepreneurs through all the potential pitfalls."

Expert Opinion
While the economic problems of recent years brought numerous challenges for many businesses, the silver lining has been the way it has encouraged a growing number of workers to go it alone and launch their own ventures. This in itself has helped the economy to improve and confidence across a number of industries remains high.

"However, it is vital that for SMEs to remain realistic in terms of their ambitions and what it takes to reach them. A key part of setting up a successful business is having the right support available to assist on the regulatory and compliance issues which can emerge. Legal expertise is particularly vital in this regard."
Fergal Dowling, Partner

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