A fifth of small business owners in the South East say that the world economy they most respect is that of Germany. This is according to results of the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer.
Managing director of the manufacturing division at Close Brothers Asset Finance Steve Gee said: “Germany’s prowess as a manufacturer and exporter is renowned. The South East has high hopes that the manufacturing sector will play a key role in returning the country to prosperity so it’s little wonder that firms here are looking to the German model for inspiration.”
He added: “Findings from the Close Brothers Business Barometer suggest smart financial planning is an inherent part of the German culture and an aspect of their business model that can be learnt from.”
According to the Office for National Statistics, UK manufacturing rose by 1.1% in March following a 0.7% increase in February, the first time in two years that the industry experienced growth for two consecutive months.
“These figures are positive,” said Gee: “However, every effort should be made to safeguard this progress, and that means ensuring that firms are adequately funded to invest in the tools required for growth, such as capital assets and skilled staff.”
Over a fifth of firms (22%) surveyed in the South East cited that difficulty accessing appropriate funding is still their biggest barrier to growth.
Gee added: “Clearly access to finance remains one of the biggest challenges facing the SME sector. We encourage firms in this position to face the challenge head on, fully researching their options so that financial instability doesn’t threaten any recovery.”