Scottish SMEs most optimistic across UK

Chris Lee-Smith: SMEs are adjusting to change
Chris Lee-Smith: SMEs are adjusting to change
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Scottish SMEs are the most confident in the UK about their growth prospects to September, and the only region not to see a year-on-year drop, according to survey results published today.

Aon Risk Solutions, the risk-management arm of global group Aon, found that 52 per cent of SMEs north of the Border expected growth between March and September, the same level as 12 months previously.

The figure came in ahead of the UK average of 48 per cent, and exceeded London, which came in with the second-­highest level at 51 per cent, down from 53 per cent one year before.

However, the study – which was undertaken earlier this year before the Brexit vote – found that 17 per cent of Scottish businesses anticipating growth said such expansion would be significant.

The sharpest drop in the UK was in the Midlands, where 49 per cent of SMEs forecast growth, down from 58 per cent in March 2015.

Chris Lee-Smith, managing director of Aon Risk Solutions, Affinity, said: “The last year in Scotland has been one of many major political and economic events that spell out the importance of small businesses needing to live with and adjust to change.

“It is testament to the enduring strength of SMEs that more than half are anticipating growth in the coming months, and that this figure amongst Scottish SMEs has remained as strong for the past year.” He also said Aon can help SMEs “anticipate and manage change” before their business is damaged.