Poll Finds Fewer Small Scottish Firms Planning to Invest

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1st October 2012 11:06 - Business Support

A survey carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) revealed fewer firms think business conditions will improve in the next quarter.

The study, which surveyed 270 firms, showed 29% expect further declines in the next three months, with 16% planning to significantly reduce investment, a rise of 6% from the first quarter of this year.  In contrast, 8% of small firms in the UK are planning to increase capital expenditure.

The survey also revealed that the majority of firms found the availability of credit to be a problem, with 74% stating the availability of credit was either ‘quite’ or ‘very’ poor.  Also, 61% of the firms surveyed found credit to be either ‘quite’ or ‘very’ unaffordable.

The research is consistent with the quarterly Business Monitor survey published this week by Lloyds TSB Scotland, which found that more than one in three firms surveyed between June and August had seen a decrease in revenue.

Andy Willox, the FSB Scottish policy convener, explained this lack of confidence in Scotland’s small businesses: ‘Rising overheads, big business customers paying late and a lack of flexible, affordable finance are compounding this uncertainty’. 

He added: ‘There are well-meaning initiatives to boost confidence out there, but we need to get to grips with the details now if they are going to work to the extent we need.’

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