A new survey conducted by Barclays Business has shown that less than half of the 1000 business owner and managers are hoping for growth in 2012. This figure is startlingly low compared to the 2010 figures, when 66 percent of business owners and managers hoped to achieve growth. The results of the Barclays Business Regional Impact Index, has revealed a lack of confidence among small businesses, with creation of jobs not being high priority.
According to the managing director of Barclays personal and business banking, Steve Cooper, businesses in London and the South East have been hit by the cuts to the public sector and service companies being reduced, which has created fears of further decline in the economy. Less than half the businesses surveyed think that profits will increase in 2012, with a third of small business owners expecting their profits to stay the same. However, 18 percent of small business owners believe that the situation will decline and they will experience losses.
Optimism for growth is most likely in London, where 57 percent expect their business to achieve growth. The North East and Central England have 54 percent of small business owners believing that their companies will grow. The least optimism is shown in the South East and South West, where 40 and 42 percent respectively think they will achieve growth. However, Professor Robert Blackburn from the Small Business Research Centre of Kingston University says:
“In terms of regional performance, the North-East has a long standing propensity to innovate and export beyond its limited regional market, in contrast to those enjoying close proximity to larger metropolitan markets.”
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