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Unlocking growth barriers could release £9bn

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As much as £9bn could be added to the British economy if SMEs were able to reach their full growth aspirations, new research by Business Link shows.

The top barriers to SME growth are:

  1. Economic uncertainty (48 per cent)
  2. Market demand (22 per cent)
  3. Regulations (22 per cent)
  4. Cash flow (20 per cent)
  5. Competition (13 per cent)
  6. Keeping staff (nine per cent)
  7. Recruiting staff (eight per cent)
  8. Lack of access to business advice (eight per cent)

According to the research, 74 per cent of SME employers aspire to grow over a three-year period (why this isn’t 100 per cent eludes us). If all of these businesses achieved a growth rate of five per cent over the next three years, an additional £9bn would be contributed to the UK’s GBA (gross value added). 

“It’s encouraging to see that so many businesses are looking to grow and develop, despite the difficult economic environment they are operating in,” says Ray Lambe, director of Business Link.

Business Link relaunched its services with two new portals this week: My New Business (for startups) and the Growth and Improvement Service (for established businesses looking to grow).

“By helping to unlock barriers to growth we’re confident that the new Business Link services will help SMEs to make that vital contribution to the UK economy that they are capable of,” adds Lambe.

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