SMEs: a global view of opportunities and challenges in 2017

Posted on Posted in Global Business Monitor, Global economy, IMF, SMEs

In 2016, Bibby Financial Services published its inaugural Global Business Monitor report, providing unique insight into the opportunities and challenges facing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across Asia, Europe and North America. Amid geopolitical change and rising economic uncertainty, the study highlighted specific issues facing such businesses, including rising input costs, the burden of government regulation and ongoing cashflow management. Though issues keeping business owners awake were predominantly close to home, there was undoubtedly […]

Global uncertainty mustn’t stall SME ambitions

Posted on Posted in Brexit, Exports, French elections, SMEs, Uncategorized, Uncertainty

We are living in times of such political unorthodoxy there is arguably a danger that economic commentators will start to sound like a broken record. Uncertainty, or rather what Mervin King the former Governor of the Bank of England calls radical uncertainty, is a dominating factor in the global economy. This is the kind of uncertainty that pollsters and skilled economists find difficult, if not impossible to predict. Events such as Brexit, a hung Parliament […]

Is the Budget likely to enable the UK to engage Top Gear?

Posted on Posted in Budget, National Living Wage, SMEs

Hammond’s first and last Spring Budget delivered on 8 March doesn’t seem very small business friendly. At first blush, increasing the National Insurance contributions for self-employed to fund care might not seem anything to worry about. But in the same breath corporation tax is being reduced. So, those larger businesses that have a choice about where they base themselves pay less, but small sole traders who have less flexibility are penalised. A tax on “strivers” […]

Efficient business. Efficient Britain.

Posted on Posted in Brexit, Efficiency, EU, SMEs, Theresa May

The results of the latest SME Confidence Tracker report show that the final months of 2016 were a time for collective belt tightening and falling investment as rising costs started to take hold for many businesses in the UK. Prior to the referendum, just one in 10 SMEs cited rising costs as their biggest challenge. In the final months of the year, this had more than doubled. As input costs rise due to a weakened pound, there are […]

Balloons have a habit of bursting

Posted on Posted in Bank of England, Inflation

While all eyes are on Mark Carney following the announcement that he is to stay on as Governor of the Bank of England until 2019, I wrote in August about the Bank’s decision to reduce interest rates from 0.5% to 0.25%. I felt it was hasty and it is likely to see a quicker rebound than might otherwise have been the case. The Bank clearly got a bit wobbly about Brexit. Evidence from our own […]