Despite low business confidence, SMEs expect to hire new staff and enjoy increased revenue in 2017, with 75% of businesses saying the Brexit vote has not made a difference to business operations.
The majority of businesses (74%) say they have not delayed any commercial decisions based on the referendum. This is slightly down on the Q3 results of 77%.
The report commissioned by Amazon UK and Enterprise Nation surveyed small and medium sized enterprises found that SMEs expected to enjoy periods of strong growth over the next 12 months. This is despite waning confidence in the wider UK economy.
SMEs expect revenue growth of 1.8% and employment growth of 0.8% in the next 12 months. This is up on Q3’s survey results, which predicted revenue growth of 1.5% and 0.7% employment growth.
Businesses are confident about their overall profits and expect a 1.1% increase over the next 12 months. That compares with 0.2% over the last 12 months.
The industries with the most confidence are in the financial sector, professional services, IT and telecommunications sector and are located in the East of England, South East and West Midlands.
Enterprise Nation and HM Government’s Crown Representative for Small Business, Emma Jones MBE said, “Britain’s small business play a crucial role in driving our economy and are the most driven, adaptable, and resilient you will ever meet.”
She added that with the right support such as lower interest rates, and easy access to finance and digital opportunities, they will continue to enjoy annual growth.