SMEs look to overcome rising costs, says Clydesdale

Clydesdale said 65% of SMEs have seen their costs rise in the last 12 months
Clydesdale said 65% of SMEs have seen their costs rise in the last 12 months
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Scottish small businesses are determined to pursue their growth plans despite the impact of rising costs, a survey today reveals.

Research by Clydesdale Bank shows that 66 per cent of the 750 SME “decision-makers” surveyed are expecting to invest in their business in the coming year, with new equipment, premises and staff leading their priorities.

About the same amount – 65 per cent – said their costs had risen in the last 12 months, with raw materials, staff salaries and utility and energy costs causing the most concern. “The perception of rising costs is most notable in the manufacturing, food and drink, hospitality and legal sectors,” Clydesdale said.

One in three think their business’ turnover will grow by an average of 11 per cent in the coming year, and 41 per cent feel the economy is in a better position now than before the recession, which Clydesdale said “is potentially acting as a buffer to the rising costs”.

Alastair Christmas, regional director for business and private banking at the lender in Scotland, said the recession has show that many Scottish SMEs “are demonstrating they have the financial flexibility to weather leaner periods and now have the appetite to grow”.

He added that many of the businesses the bank has spoken to “are working hard to protect themselves from these rising costs, but also extremely confident about the current state and future direction of our economy”.