Small business owners in Scotland are reporting extremely low levels of confidence during the third quarter, with a decrease in the amount of SMEs reporting an increase in revenue north of the border.
The Scottish edition of the ‘Voice of Small Business’ Index, an analysis report created by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), doesn’t make for good reading this economic quarter.
According to the FSB, ‘‘the Small Business Index stands at +1.7, down from +26 at the same point a year ago.’’ The trade body also revealed
‘‘With revenues and profits taking a hit, its little wonder that confidence has dropped,’’ stated Andy Willox, policy convener for FSB Scotland.
‘‘Even in these choppy waters, though, it’s good to see small businesses continuing to do their bit by creating new jobs and investing for the long term.’’
Willox reckons that the UK’s ‘loosening credit rating’ for small and medium-sized businesses will make it easier to ‘‘turn firms’ plans into reality.’’
‘‘We need to make sure that the small businesses on whom resilient local economies are founded get paid for the work they do, get a fair deal from regulators, and can easily hire the right staff with the right skills.’’
‘Steady’ investment intentions
Despite small business confidence falling sharply, there are still a number of firms intending on increasing their capital expenditure over the coming 12 months.
In addition, the OBR’s economic GDP forecast for 2016 is reliant on a pick-up in business investment. With Scotland making up nearly 10% of the UK’s economy, solid investment spending among Scottish small firms will be needed in order to realise this forecast.