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Businesses defiant in face of downturn

Businesses defiant in face of downturn

Category: Business

Updated: 01/09/2009
First Published: 01/09/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK are showing a defiant streak despite the downturn, with the majority professing to be confident about riding out the recession.

Despite the Bank of England's Governor, Mervyn King, labelling the current troubles as 'the worst recession in living memory,' 54 per cent of SMEs owner-managers said they thought their business would ride out the period.

Almost half (48 per cent) said they had taken no additional measures as a result of the downturn, according to a study commissioned by Hiscox.

Even those businesses that have been forced into taking action have avoided making swinging cuts, illustrating a bullish attitude amongst the UK's small and medium sized firms.

Just shy of nine in ten (88 per cent) SMEs have not enforced salary cuts, while a similar number have continued with bonus payments.

The general consensus in the SME community is that the current recession is likely to continue into next year, with just less than half (45 per cent) of the opinion that the recovery will not happen until September next year at the earliest.

A more pessimistic 23 per cent said they thought it would continue on into 2011 and beyond. Just seven per cent predicted a pre-2010 recovery in the UK economy.

"SMEs are an integral part of the UK business landscape and an important indicator of the health of the national economy, so it's good see that many are so confident about their survival prospects and have avoided some of the more difficult measures such as salary cuts and redundancies," said Alan Thomas, small business insurance expert at Hiscox.

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