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Yorkshire SMEs see 2014 as year of growth

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Almost all of Yorkshire’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have plans to invest in growth over the next year, according to new research from Yorkshire Bank.

Conducted as part of the Bank’s Business Week, also suggests that 95 per cent of Yorkshire SMEs will invest in growing their business in 2014.

UK-wide, the survey suggests that more than 4.5million SMEs (97 per cent) have some plans to invest in growing their business in 2014.

The survey also indicates that rather than looking to maintain the status quo or cutting back, keeping pace with demand was driving investment among Yorkshire businesses, with 59 per cent citing this as being influential in their decision to invest in growth.

Confidence is another major influence on the decision to invest with 61 per cent of respondents citing optimism as an important factor in their decision making. Fifty per cent said there are no barriers at all for them to investment.

SME investment in the next year could also be a significant contributor to Yorkshire and UK economic growth, according to the survey’s results.

The Yorkshire Bank research indicates that SMEs plan to invest an average of seven per cent of turnover on growth.

Across the UK, based on official figures, this could be worth up to £160bn, or £34k per business, to the UK economy.

The top three identified investment areas for businesses in Yorkshire are new equipment and technology (37 per cent), employing new staff (20 per cent), and increased sales and marketing (33 per cent).

Alan Young, Yorkshire Bank’s regional director for Yorkshire, said:

“These are encouraging results and echo recent official growth figures.

“They suggest many SMEs in the Yorkshire are at the point where they feel more certain about investing in their businesses.

“As the majority of UK companies are small and medium sized businesses, this has to be good for the economy as a whole.

“It’s important that we recognise and understand that there are still barriers to growth for some businesses.

“Access to funding has changed across the market place, but it is available to well-managed businesses with strong plans for growth.

“As part of our Business Week, we are opening our doors to businesses across the Yorkshire, and in partnership with local and national experts, offering SMEs the chance to understand what options and support are available to help them overcome the growth barriers they face.”

Yorkshire Bank’s Business Week runs until November 8.

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