Directors confident on growth prospects for 2015

A survey of over 100 of its members by the Institute of Directors in Scotland has found that 93% expect their businesses to grow next year, with 97% saying they felt either 'very confident' or 'quite confident' about their companies' respective prospects. The IoD claimed the figures pointed to a Scotland that was 'buzzing with potential' after an encouraging 2014. But business leaders also expressed concern about access to funding, recruitment of quality staff, continuing political uncertainty, and falling oil prices. David Watt, executive director of the IoD in Scotland, said that while access to funding had improved Scottish business could be better supported by traditional lenders. He said: There is an improvement in access to finance, but it is still relatively risk averse finance in banks.' He added: 'To be honest, to grow in the private sector you quite often have to take risks. We have got a brilliant archangel network in Scotland. We don't quite have enough in the venture capital area... we need the banks to continue to be more positive overall. They need to work with businesses to develop business plans that suit both parties so the banks can lend and help businesses invest. Businesses need finance to grow, expand, to merge and to acquire other businesses, to build scale and to export. It is vitally important.' Those surveyed specified their political concerns as arising from the ongoing Smith Commission as well as the prospect of an EU referendum. The survey of 130 IoD members in Scotland also found that 41% saw their biggest concern as access to talent, including in the engineering, manufacturing and financial services sectors. Lastly, while falling oil prices are good for keeping costs down, they are a bad thing for those involved in the sector.

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