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Small businesses less optimistic about economic plan

At a glance

  • The latest Zurich SME Risk Index results show that SMEs are considerably less optimistic about new Prime Minister Theresa May’s economic plan than large businesses
  • Less than a quarter of SMEs (24%) thought that her appointment would have a positive effect on their business
  • Just 3% of SMEs reported that currency fluctuations had helped the productivity of their business, compared with one in ten large businesses (10%)

The latest Zurich SME Risk Index results show that SMEs are considerably less optimistic about new Prime Minister Theresa May’s economic plan than large businesses.

On average, less than a quarter of SMEs (24%) thought that her appointment would have a positive effect on their business, compared with almost a third of large businesses (32%).

The survey of over 1,000 SMEs and 250 large businesses suggests a strong correlation between the size of a business and its level of support for the new Prime Minister’s economic plan. While Theresa May has the approval of more than a third of large businesses (35%), just one in five sole traders (20%), and less than a quarter of micro (23%) and small businesses (24%).

This may be related to the fact that smaller businesses are, on average, more than three times less likely than large businesses to have seen a positive impact on their business as a result of the devaluation of the pound. Just 3% of SMEs reported that currency fluctuations had helped the productivity of their business, compared with one in ten large businesses (10%).

In London, SMEs remain sceptical, with only a quarter of business thinking that the new PM will have a positive impact on the success of their business (26%) while almost two in every five larger businesses foresees a positive impact (37%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, sentiment among businesses was less positive in the North West, where only one in five SMEs (21%), and in Scotland, with less than one in five (18%).

It is not all bad news for Theresa May among SMEs, however. While big business is certainly more bullish about her appointment, SMEs are, on average, more than three times as likely to feel positive about her appointment (25%) than they are negative (8%).

Anne Griffiths, Head of SME Proposition at Zurich, comments:

“Big business is not this nation’s only economic contributor. Small business has long been the backbone of the UK market. Last week, the new Prime Minister met with delegates from the SME community and promised an economy “built on the values of fairness and opportunity”. What I suspect that same community will now want to see is Mrs May’s new Government coming good on that promise – which can only increase her support from the sector.”

To find out more about our enhanced SME proposition, speak to your usual Zurich contact or log in to ZTrade.

Image © Getty

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