Investment in small firms increasing despite Brexit concerns
The Small Firms Association (SFA) today released new data on the finance and investment priorities of small firms. Launching the new data, SFA Chair, Sue O’Neill, stated: “It is very positive to see that 51% of SFA members are growing and 72% intend to invest in their business over the coming year. This is up from 65% six months ago, demonstrating a clear sign of growing confidence in the small business sector and that firms are now realising the importance of Brexit-proofing their business. Priorities for investment include brand development (21%), staff (19%) IT (18%),and market diversification (11%).
“It is striking to note that the intention to invest is not accompanied by widespread plans by small firms to access available credit, with only 7.9% of those surveyed saying that their current financing priority was new borrowing. Our survey results indicate that businesses are restricting their growth ambitions to what they can finance from retained earnings or personal savings which is a cause for some concern.
“The sources of finance available to businesses have never been so diverse. There is a product out there to suit almost every business– the challenge now for small firms is to understand the different finance options available to them and identify the right mix of bank and non-bank finance for their individual business.”
After investment, paying down debts emerged as the top financial priority for SFA members at 25%, rising to 30% in the wholesale, retail and distribution sector. 21% said that they are currently focused on saving.