04 July 2016
Small business confidence ‘at four-year low’
The Government is being urged to support small businesses, following new research indicating confidence was at a four-year low even before the UK decided to leave the European Union.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) surveyed over 1,000 members during April and May.
Confidence among them was at its lowest level since 2012 and many were planning to shed jobs, the FSB says.
The proportion of firms indicating they planned to invest over the next 12 months, meanwhile, was down from nearly a third compared to the same time in 2015.
FSB chairman Mike Cherry says he believes the economy now faces a "real chance of a recession" for the first time since 2009.
To avert that, he adds, small businesses need to be given help to expand and create, rather than cut, jobs.
Although a decision has now been taken on the UK's membership of the EU, Mr Cherry says "many questions" remain unanswered.
Until they are resolved, he says action is required to support small firms and the economy as a whole.