World Economy

British SME Exporters’ Confidence Holding Steady

More businesses are now choosing to export.More businesses are now choosing to export.

The number of SME exporters that expect to continue growing their overseas sales has fallen following the EU referendum, according to the latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank.

Despite that figure, however, the Lloyds report showed that overall prospects are still positive, “and export experiences over the last six months have improved, with the US and Canada the areas that businesses believe will be most attractive to trade with going forward,” SME Insider reported.

Among the more remarkable results from the research are:

— A net balance of plus 20% of exporters (33% in January 2016) now expect their total overseas sales to increase in the next six months

— A net balance of 11% (19% in January 2016) of businesses expect exports to Europe to improve during the next six months

—18% (35% in January 2016) expect their competitiveness overseas to improve.

“Though overall expectations for the next six months are less optimistic than they were at the start of the year, overall businesses remain positive about the months ahead,” said Adrian Walker, managing director, head of global transaction banking at Lloyds Bank.

“There has been a decline in the number of firms that expect exports to grow over the next six months, compared to January, but more businesses still expect exports to grow rather than to contract.

“Considering the uncertainty that has been caused by the outcome of the EU referendum (on June 23, 2016), the fact that so many businesses have not been put off by the economic and political uncertainty over the summer is encouraging.

“However, when you consider their performance in the early half of this year, it’s not entirely surprising. More businesses are now choosing to export, and those that do are selling more of their goods and services overseas, showing that there are opportunities out there for those who choose to pursue them.”

 Non-Cash Payment

SMEs are losing out to the tune of billions of pounds by not offering non-cash payment options. Businesses still stuck on the cash system are at a threat of a range of risks, according to Sage’s research.

Almost a quarter (24%) of business owners report having been the target of cash theft by a member of staff, while 34% admit to losing cash due to human error. Finally, more than half say they spend up to an hour or more counting and transporting cash to the bank each week.

The cumulative costs of all this inefficiency, Sage, UK’s cost-effective accounting firm, estimates, amounts to around £9.4 billion ($11.67 billion) in lost revenues and unnecessary costs. The figures, that are taken from Sage’s sixth annual Payments Landscape report, show that small businesses must respond to changes in consumer demand.


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