The latest SME Health Check Index from CYBG, in partnership with the Centre for Business and Economics Research (CEBR), dropped to a score of 42.01, down by 48 per cent since 2014. This is the fifth consecutive quarterly fall and its worst reading for four years.
The Index, which includes measures that can be directly linked to SME performance, as well as components that relate to the wider economy, suggests a worsening business and macroeconomic environment since the EU Referendum in June 2016 and the ongoing Brexit negotiations.
David Duffy, CEO of CYBG, comments: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK, helping to drive growth, create jobs and sustain economic health. But SME confidence appears to be in short supply as many small firms are seeing rising business costs alongside continuing skills shortages.
“Businesses are scaling back their investment and borrowing due to the wider economic uncertainty, contributing to the decline in the Index. The Government’s business rate changes in last November’s budget were appreciated, but in the current environment, SMEs would welcome more incentives to address skills shortages or further tax reductions.”
In the current challenging economic climate, it is essential that business owners look at ways of improving profitability, working capital and cashflow, enabling their businesses to be more agile and flexible to respond positively to the changing economic landscape.
Our SME business experts at Beavis Morgan are available to structure your business with cashflow and profit forecasting to measure performance and maximise opportunities.