Lloyds Bank events show support for local firms

Sheffield-based SMEs are most concerned about staff, according to new research conducted at a Backing your Ambition event yesterday, hosted by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

More than 70 per cent of those surveyed said that the biggest decision they’ve had to make for their business relates to people, from recruitment and retention through to performance management.

Indeed, 69 per cent said they were worried about losing good members of staff.

This sentiment echoes one of the key findings of a report, unveiled at the event by GrowthAccelerator, which studies the characteristics of businesses deemed to be ‘Hyper Growth businesses’.

Hyper Growth is a term used to describe rapid business growth at a rate of at least three times higher than the accepted definition of ‘high growth’.

Most (73 per cent) of the SMEs questioned at the breakfast event, held at Kenwood Hall, said that the recession had forced them to re-evaluate their approach in order to survive.

Like the Hyper Growth businesses in the report, it was revealed that Sheffield firms also regularly consult their business objectives, with 81 per cent saying they revisit their plan at least once a quarter.

It was also revealed that less than a quarter (23 per cent) of Sheffield firms’ growth opportunities have come from new markets, which contrasts with the findings of the report.

Over 70 local business leaders from across the area attended the Lloyds Bank-hosted event, which brought together senior bank representatives, including Jon Pulford, area director SME Banking in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The Sheffield Backing your Ambition event, which is part of a series taking place in 12 locations across the UK, included an address from Rhys Herbert, Senior Economist, Lloyds Banking Group, who provided an economic update on the macro and micro issues affecting SMEs across the region.

Jon Pulford, area director for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands, said: “Whilst many surveyed said they had been forced to look at their business activity, it’s clear from speaking with those in the room yesterday that this hasn’t dampened any entrepreneurial spirit.

“These events provide us with an invaluable forum to engage with our customers and to get a real understanding of their plans for the future – and to see how we can help these businesses to realise their ambitions.”

Also speaking at the event, specialist electronics manufacturer and Lloyds Bank customer, Kingfield Electronics, explained how the company was able to drive its growth with the move to new premises last year and the purchase of new machinery.

This was supported by a commercial mortgage and asset finance from Lloyds Bank and a £250K Regional Growth Fund grant from Creative Sheffield.

Nick Taylor, owner and managing director of Kingfield Electronics, said: “At the start of this journey, I fully expected Lloyds to dismiss the project.

“The outcome has been that Lloyds have become a very close partner in my business, and their support has enabled us to move the business through a critical phase in its development.

“Had it not been for the solid relationship that I have with our Lloyds Relationship Manager, and the ongoing reassurance that all this was actually possible, it’s highly unlikely that I would have committed to undertake a project of this magnitude.”

14-10 (L-R) Dave Thomas, Jon Pulford, Adrian Bean, Rhys Herbert and Nick Taylor
Dave Thomas, Jon Pulford, Adrian Bean, Rhys Herbert and Nick Taylor

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