Report shows North East SMEs are going for growth

Almost all of the North East's Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have plans to invest in growth over the next year, according to new research from Yorkshire Bank

Tom White/PA Wire The Tyne Bridge and The Sage Gateshead
The Tyne Bridge and The Sage Gateshead

Almost all of the North East’s Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have plans to invest in growth over the next year, according to new research from Yorkshire Bank.

The survey suggests that 98% of SMEs in the North East will invest in growing their business in 2014.

The report also indicates that rather than looking to maintain the status quo or cutting back, keeping pace with demand was driving investment among North East businesses, with 86% citing this as being influential in their decision.

Confidence is another major influence on the decision to invest with 76% of respondents citing optimism as an important factor in their decision making. 50% said there are no barriers at all for them to investment.

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

The research, conducted as part of the bank’s Business Week, show that SMEs plan to invest an average of 13% of turnover on growth and across the UK this could be worth up to £160bn, or £34,000 per business, to the UK economy.

The top three identified investment areas for businesses in the North East are new equipment and technology (50%), staff training (50%), and new product development (38%).

Alan Young, Yorkshire Bank’s regional director for the North East, said: “These are encouraging results and echo recent official growth figures.

“They suggest many SMEs in the North East 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 and involves more than 200 free events.

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