North East SMEs are still feeling positive, says report

Despite difficulties in the current economic climate, 97% of all North East SMEs still have ambitious plans for growth. 

The 2011 Small Business Report surveyed more than 1220 enterprises, and found that almost all small businesses are aiming to grown turnover, while almost 50% plan to take on staff.

The founder of the report, Emma Jones, has now unveiled a 10-point plan to help support existing businesses grow further, including information on the availability of super fast broadband and affordable workspace.

She also believes that despite the widespread belief that setting up in the UK would be a high-risk endeavour, the current climate provides the UK with a clear opportunity to unleash its entrepreneurial spirit.

Emma commented: “The small business sector is undergoing a significant change and the number of people starting a business is on the increase at the same time as government funds to support small business are on the decrease.

“This is a landscape that presents an opportunity for the private sector to step in and provide quality products and services for small business owners to help, support and mentor each other.”

Small and medium sized businesses make up 60% of the private sector, and the report also considered some of the challenges these companies face.

Lack of confidence and fear of failure were cited as the most common reasons holding people back from setting up their own business, while widespread belief that the UK is high risk and high cost has put off many from setting up here.

BT is one of the companies helping to rejuvenate small businesses in the UK by providing technology to support and sustain the economy.

Chris Sayers, BT’s North East regional director added: “ The report highlights some of the challenges that this inspirational sector faces, challenges that we should consider carefully on our journey towards becoming an enterprise nation.

“For BT, which has more than a million small business customers in the UK, it re-emphasises the singular importance of technology in encouraging and supporting the development of new enterprise in the North East.”

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