APA survey results reveal where SMEs need support
77% of owner managed businesses rate Government support as either poor or very poor. That is one of the key findings of a survey of 532 of these businesses launched by the Association of Practising Accountants (APA) today. The overarching…
News26th Jul 2023
77% of owner managed businesses rate Government support as either poor or very poor. That is one of the key findings of a survey of 532 of these businesses launched by the Association of Practising Accountants (APA) today. The overarching message from research carried out by APA in 2023 is that uncertain trading conditions are hampering competitiveness and that while there are multiple causes, not enough is being done by policy makers to help owner managers deal with the fallout.
Other findings include:
- 90% anticipate labour costs will rise over the next 12 months
- 89% anticipate supply-chain costs to rise over the next 12 months
- 53% expect energy costs to impede their ability to deliver
- 68% were either unlikely or very unlikely to make significant capital investment in the next 12 months
- Business growth was identified as the main priority for 23% of respondents while sustaining their business was the priority for 59% and business survival for 11%.
Despite these concerns the research found that many of these businesses remained resilient:
- 49% think they are in better shape than 12 months ago
- 78% were confident they could cope with further interest rate rises in the next 12 months
- Only 39% felt recruitment and retention was likely to be a bigger challenge going forward than in the previous 12 months
Commenting on the findings APA Chairman Martin Muirhead said:
“Owner managed businesses are struggling. A combination of inflationary pressures, cost of living challenges, energy price volatility and an uncertain economic outlook present significant threat to this vital economic sector. There is real frustration among these businesses at the lack of resolve from Government that is now required to help tackle these issues.”
AAB Group is a member of the Association of Practising Accountants (APA) – a network of 20 leading business advisory firms meeting the needs of the real economy from SMEs through to AIM companies as well as the third sector. APA members collectively advise and support well over 14,000 businesses with turnover up to the hundreds of millions. Our clients produce goods and services which help drive jobs and growth across the UK and internationally.