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South East SMEs predict 18% growth over next five years

Sales growth - SME decision makers in the South East - SantanderCB

SME decision makers in the South East are confident about their five-year growth prospects, according to the Business Growth survey from Santander Corporate & Commercial. The research found that small and medium-sized businesses with up to 249 employees in the South East are predicting 18%, or the equivalent of £1.5m, turnover growth over the next five years. The survey suggests a strong outlook for short-term growth, with 51% of SMEs in the South East reporting growing the business organically as an immediate priority. Nearly a third (31%) wish to introduce new products or R&D, which is the highest of any region in Great Britain. But despite the optimism and business confidence, businesses in the South East still say they are facing challenges. A tough trading environment was seen as a challenge to growth cited by 28% of respondents. The ability to hire and retain the right staff (22%) and access to capital (15%) also remain key challenges cited by business owners in the South East. Gwyn Price, regional director, South East, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: 'We are encouraged to see that SMEs in the South East are forecasting growth over the next five years. We are particularly impressed to see that South Eastern SMEs are planning to introduce the most research and development or new products of any region in Great Britain.'

 

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