December 23 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

Small businesses want access to technology, according to index

Small businesses want improved availability of technology, with 37 per cent believing that it will positively impact on growth next year, according to the annual SME Hopes and Fears Index from Barclays.

The index also revealed the other most important factors when it comes to boosting growth, with 30 per cent citing opportunities for exporting and access to international markets, 22 per cent moving their business online and having a digital presence, 22 per cent consumer demand and 21 per cent the condition of the UK’s economy.

Concerns

The research also revealed the factors that businesses believe will have a negative impact on their business in 2017, with oil and gas prices being found to be the factor that businesses are most concerned about at 43 per cent.

The state of the UK’s economy and inflation were found to be the second and third biggest concerns for businesses, cited by 42 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. These were trailed by competition from similar small companies at 35 per cent, and fluctuating exchange rates, cited by 33 per cent of respondents.

Businesses also revealed their concerns on how Brexit will affect their business in 2017, with 22 per cent voicing concerns over Article 50, and 29 per cent worried over the UK’s exit from the EU.

Challenges

Commenting on the Index, Barclays Business Banking Chief Executive Officer, Ian Rand, commented: “This is the time of year when many businesses are planning ahead, and our Hopes and Fears research shows that small businesses are aware of several challenges that may face them in 2017, but they also see many strong opportunities for growth.”

Claire Payne

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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