A recent study by The Open University has revealed that, for the first time in two years, small businesses are experiencing positive sales growth.
The report compiled by the Open University’s business school surveyed over 800 small businesses around the UK and showed that the third quarter of last year showed a steady, sustained recovery.
The study showed that 37% of small firms saw higher sales, however, 32% of small firms witnessed a reduced number of sales compared to the same period the year before, highlighting a positive balance of 5%.
In spite of improved sales performance, over 50% of small business owners are still concerned about the UK’s economic climate. As a result, two thirds of respondents have not taken on any further staff in the past year after a number claiming that recruitment was an area that they intended to make cuts in order to keep their heads above water over 2009/2010.
The University’s Senior Lecturer in Enterprise Development, Dr Richard Blundell, commented:
“Britain’s small firms have a significant impact on the environment. As the economy recovers, it is important that we look at how they are operating and what kind of help they need.”
Dr Blundell went on to add that there were positive signs, however,“There are still major challenges with smaller and less entrepreneurial firms, who seem to be lacking support.”
In addition to this, a number of small business groups, such as the British Chambers of Commerce, are also calling on the Government and the Bank of England to continue offering badly needed support to firms throughout the UK.
David Kern, the BCC’s Chief Economist, commented:
“British businesses need a prolonged period of low interest rates to cope with the pressures resulting from the implementation of the government’s deficit cutting programme. But it is important that the recovery is not threatened. If the economy weakens the MPC must be prepared to consider a further increase in its quantitative easing programme.”