Nine out of ten small businesses say their confidence in the state of
the UK economy has crashed in the past four weeks, according to a survey by
Unicom, a specialist small business telecoms provider.
The telco surveyed 154 companies, 140 of which said they were less
confident in the economy than at the same time the previous month.
Just 14 said they were more confident in the economy than they were a month ago. However, Unicom itself said SMEs may be panicking unnecessarily. There were more business failures this time last year, it claimed.
"The bottom line is that we had 263 customer insolvencies in the first
10 weeks of 2008 compared with 246 in the corresponding period in 2007 -
a growth of 6.9 per cent," said Tony Eagleton, finance director of Unicom. " This
compares with growth in invoiced customers from 56,189 at the end of March 2007
to 68,860 at the end of March 2008. That is a growth of 22.6 per cent in
revenue," he claimed.
Ultimately this positive news for the IT and telecoms industry, Eagleton argued.
"It is possible that one contributing factor is the resilience that small
businesses have built up. Their managers are closer to the front line, so they
are able to respond quickly to changes in the economic environment," he said.
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