08 Oct 2012
Business leaders fail to back the Government’s strategy for growth
London – 08 October 2012 - As Chancellor George Osborne delivers his crucial speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham today, research shows that only a third of senior business leaders in the UK are satisfied with his attempts to stimulate the economy.
Of the world’s leading economies, only the governments of Australia, South Africa and Japan received lower satisfaction ratings. The Netherlands and France – where new President Francois Hollande has just unveiled his first Budget – both received ratings above 90%.
This is one of the key findings of the latest Business Confidence Index (BCI) published by Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, based on the views of more than 3000 senior managers and business owners in the UK.
The research also shows that business confidence among small and start-up businesses in particular has flatlined over the last year. Given the important role of small and medium-sized enterprises as a motor of growth and provider of jobs, this finding is of particular concern. Access to affordable credit and cash-flow were among their biggest concerns.
“Britain’s business leaders are sending a clear message to the Government,” says Steve Purdy, UK Managing Director of Regus “They clearly don’t have much faith in the current policies to stimulate the economic growth which is so badly needed.”
Key Findings and Statistics
*33% of respondents are satisfied with Government attempts to stimulate the economy.
*UK confidence levels have shown little change compared to six months ago; up 3 points to 94 since April 2012.
*Revenue and profit growth both show some improvement, climbing 2% to 45% and 38% respectively.
*Small businesses and start-ups highlighted the following issues:
1) cash-flow (70%)
2) finding customers (52%)
3) the cost of marketing and promotion (33%)
*Respondents also highlighted key measures for government to introduce that would substantially help small businesses and start-ups. These are:
1) tax exemptions (74%)
2) low interest loans (67%)
3) mentoring schemes (27%)
Steve Purdy continues: “There’s been virtually no change in business confidence since our last BCI report in April which suggests that slowing trade with Europe, combined with a host of national factors, is taking its toll. If there is some good news it’s that the proportion of companies reporting revenue growth is stable while profits increased slightly.
“We were particularly struck by the lack of any improvement in confidence amongst entrepreneurs and small businesses. With 70% of respondents pinpointing cash flow as the major issue preventing growth, I urge smaller companies to look in detail at all overheads to find savings that can improve their cash situation. A third of respondents nationally, for instance, reported that one of the major burdens during the downturn were property leases. Moving to a flexible work model without a fixed property lease can allow businesses to be more agile and free-up cash for investment without relying on credit at a time when it is so difficult to secure.”
Notes to Editors:
1) Steve Purdy, UK Managing Director at Regus is available for interview
2) Full report available on request
3) Research Methodology:
Over 24,000 business respondents from over 95 countries were interviewed during September 2012. These were sourced from Regus’ global contacts database of over 1 million business people worldwide which is highly representative of senior managers and owners in businesses across the globe. Respondents were asked about their recent revenue and profit trends, along with their future views on a number of issues including the challenges they felt were most difficult to overcome for start-ups, measures that governments could introduce to help stimulate entrepreneurial activity and growth and satisfaction with current government stimulus measures. The survey was managed and administered by the independent organisation, MindMetre, www.mindmetre.com
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Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, with products and services ranging from fully equipped offices to professional meeting rooms, business lounges and the world’s largest network of video communication studios. Regus enables people to work their way, whether it’s from home, on the road or from an office. Customers such as Google, GlaxoSmithKline, and Nokia join hundreds of thousands of growing small and medium businesses that benefit from outsourcing their office and workplace needs to Regus, allowing them to focus on their core activities.
More than 1.3 million customers a day benefit from Regus facilities spread across a global footprint of more than 1,500 locations in 600 cities and 99 countries, which allow individuals and companies to work wherever, however and whenever they want to. Regus was founded in Brussels, Belgium in 1989, is headquartered in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange.