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Owner Managed Businesses Holding Back Investment Decisions and Pessimistic about the Economy

Pessimism about an uncertain economy and worries over the impact of Brexit are, according to latest research from the Association of Practising Accountants (APA), deterring UK business owners from making investment decisions.

Members of the APA – an association of 16 leading UK Accountancy firms, including Armstrong Watson – surveyed their clients on a series of issues and challenges facing businesses, with responses showing less confidence in the economy than the same time last year.

Of the 475 client responses submitted across a broad range of sectors, key findings were:

  • 30% of respondents are less positive than they were twelve months ago.
  • Nearly 60% of businesses think the UK will be worse off as a result of Brexit with 25% thinking there will be no change and 15% thinking the UK will be better off.
  • While there was more optimism (43%) than pessimism (21%) about growth over the next 12 months, only 18% were more optimistic than this time last year against 33% who were more pessimistic.
  • Over 50% were unlikely to make any capital investment within the next 12 months.
  • Recruitment and retention of key people continues to be a challenge that most business are facing.

Commenting on the findings, Paul Dickson, CEO and Managing Partner of APA Member firm Armstrong Watson said,

“It is clear from the research that the biggest challenge for businesses is the concern surrounding Brexit and the economic uncertainty this brings. This could negatively impact upon growth, with over 50% of businesses admitting they were unlikely to make any capital investment within the next 12 months.

“Recruitment and retention of good people also continues to be an important issue for businesses, although less so than this time last year as a result of Brexit being of greater concern.

“Whilst operating in an uncertain marketplace is daunting for any business, there are steps that can be taken to prepare for a post Brexit world and I would encourage business owners to seek the support of their business advisers to help support them through this transition.”

Full survey results can be viewed here 

If you're looking for advice to help you prepare your business for a post Brexit world, get in touch with one of our advisers.

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