Market uncertainty remains biggest concern for UK small businesses

Red tape and late payments also rank highly as key issues for the country's business owners in Hitachi Capital's latest British Business Barometer

General market uncertainty is creating issues for the UK’s small business owners and holding their businesses back, Hitachi Capital has reported in its British Business Barometer for April to June 2016.

Surveying 1,139 small businesses, Hitachi Capital found that 33% of business owners continue to be concerned about market fluctuations (1% higher than the second quarter of 2015), while red tape, late payments, and volatile cash flow weigh heavy for 19%, 17%, and 16% of small business owners respectively.

The cost of hiring staff was among one of small business’ least concerns, followed by an unwillingness to take risks.

By sector, market uncertainty was the greatest worry for businesses in manufacturing with 42% citing it as having the potential to restrict growth, while regulations and tax cuts were the main concern for 24% of small and medium-sized companies in the constructions industry.

Small business owners in London and the South of England were found to have the most positive economic outlook – only 21% of business owners in the capital said they felt market uncertainty would be restrictive to their expansion over the next three months.

Gavin Wraith-Carter, Hitachi Capital Business Finance managing director, commented:

“Small and medium-sized enterprises face challenges daily when securing growth. […] Aside from market and economic issues, every quarter we also see a steady proportion of respondents that feel their bank is holding them back.”

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