The Federation of Small Businesses update

FSB: North East and Yorkshire small businesses remain in “positive territory”

Small businesses across the North East and Yorkshire have seen positive gross profits for the first time in three years according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Confidence amongst small businesses in Yorkshire, the Humber and North East has remained in positive figures from the first quarter 2021, despite seeing a slight drop to 24 per cent.

Gross profit in the region is positive for the first time since 2018 with more businesses reporting an increase in profit in the last 3 months.

Yorkshire, the Humber and the North East is around the average in terms of profit across the UK for the last 3 months with the most positive regions including the East Midlands and the South West.

Investment is expected to increase in the coming quarter by 29 per cent of business in Yorkshire, Humber and the North East. This remains positive but is a decline from Q1, sitting just below the UK average.

Despite these positive signs, business highlighted the barriers to growth as being the general economic conditions in the UK, consumer demand, and appropriately skilled staff.

Richard Askew, Yorkshire, Humber and the North East England Policy Unit, said: “It is encouraging to see that confidence remains positive amongst small businesses in the latest three-month SBI period.

“Our figures highlight that confidence has fallen slightly on Quarter 1, but that in turn came after the lows of Q4 2020 when many businesses were closed or operating well below capacity.

“A positive net balance of businesses expect profits to increase and to employ more people in the coming quarter, which are encouraging signs.

“The main concerns of small businesses in Yorkshire, Humber and the North East, in line with the rest of the UK, are the local economic climate, perceived weak or uncertain consumer demand, and access to skilled employees.”

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