Reasons to be optimistic in region

Businesses in the East Midlands are optimistic about their future growth prospects in spite of the current economic situation.

That’s the result of new research by Santander Business Banking.

It reveals that the average company in the East Midlands with a turnover of £20 or less expects to grow its revenue by 68 per cent over the next five years – around 11 per cent per year.

These business owners are slightly more cautious about their longer term growth prospects than they were a year ago.

Nationally, the average company with a turnover of up to £20m expects to grow its revenue by 88% over the next five years.

With difficult trading conditions, business owners in the East Midlands are looking to explore new options to help achieve their growth ambitions with one in 10 saying that starting another business is an immediate priority.

Moreover, despite the fall in optimism against last year’s survey in 2011, one in five firms in the East Midlands surveyed by Santander say their business has never been in better shape.

The trading environment is identified as the biggest challenge facing companies in the East Midlands looking to grow, according to around half 47 per cent of the business owners surveyed. This is followed by their ability to hire and retain the best staff, 21 per cent.

Nick Pulley, regional director of Santander Corporate Banking in the East Midlands, said: “While business owners in the East Midlands remain cautious in the short term, focusing on survival against an uncertain economic background, they are clearly optimistic in their longer term prospects.

“Many people think survival is about holding onto their cash but in order to promote longer term growth, businesses need to continue to invest.

“There are many ways that companies can look to improve the quality of their business and ensure they are well placed to take advantage of opportunities to grow.

“Given the low anticipated growth in the UK over the next few years, companies looking to meet their aspirations will need to focus on the fundamentals such as cash flow, customer service and strategic planning to ensure they can realise their ambitions.”

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