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Eighty-one per cent of South West SMEs are optimistic about growth this year, says Boost&Co

The Business Magazine article image for: Eighty-one per cent of South West SMEs are optimistic about growth this year, says Boost&Co
14 April 2022

Eighty-one per cent of South West SMEs are optimistic about growth this year, despite ongoing challenges according to a new report by independent asset manager Boost&Co.

But the war in Ukraine has adjusted growth plans for 52 per cent of UK businesses with 13 per cent having to terminate specific customers contracts and a further 12 per cent feeling pressure to change suppliers during the past few weeks, according to the authors of the 2022 Geared for Growth report.

According to the survey of 500 business leaders whilst the ongoing political situation is causing difficulties for businesses, the highest priority for achieving growth amongst UK business leaders is through investing in technology (29 per cent).

Other priorities for growth among South West business leaders included finding the right talent (36 per cent), building on the growth experienced during the pandemic (16 per cent) and recovering from the impact the pandemic had on the business (23 per cent).

While UK SMEs have felt pressure during the past few years – navigating the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, Brexit and other significant events – the research from Boost&Co suggests that businesses are indeed managing well and have confidence in achieving their growth ambitions this year.

Research by EY in 2021 found that despite the pandemic, more than 78 per cent of fast-growth companies grew revenues in the preceding 12 months, indicating the agility and resilience of UK firms during the pandemic.

Commenting on the research, Joanna Scott, managing director at Boost&Co, said: “Given the challenges that many firms have experienced during the past two years as well as the worrying political situation globally, it is really positive to see that growth optimism has not waned.

"In fact, UK business leaders are showing real hopes of growth, with clear goals for how they believe their organisation can achieve it.

“While the challenges are far from over – with ongoing complications from the pandemic and further disruption to the global business market due to current events – many businesses can, and will, continue to thrive.

“Mapping out the key areas of focus for SME growth and supporting these promising businesses must be a top priority for the UK economy.

"There are several ways that businesses can feel better supported in their growth journeys throughout 2022, whether that be through greater access to resources, advice or alternative sources of funding.

"Optimism may be high but with a turbulent business market across the UK, listening to SMEs and their concerns will be essential for a successful and flourishing UK economy during the next 12 months.”


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Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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