The meeting saw the Bank of England provide an update on the economic outlook, with Graeme informing small business owners in the room that the Bank had taken steps to ensure that the UK banking sector is in good shape to withstand a no-deal Brexit.
Small firms at the roundtable meeting fed back on a variety of pressures they are facing including skills shortages, lack of labour availability, rising employment costs, late payments and the outlook for pay growth across different sectors. The extension of Brexit negotiations also featured heavily in discussions and how this had impacted business activity, investment and employment intentions for small businesses and their clients.
Rich Bishop, FSB West Midlands Regional Chair said “While the meeting saw some interesting debate, it was a welcome opportunity for FSB members to feed back directly to the Bank of England and provide a small business perspective on what is currently happening. It was useful to hear from small firms across a range of sectors and the current issues and challenges they are facing on the ground. While overall the mood was positive it was clear from the discussions that uncertainty is weighing on small firms and the self-employed making it harder for them to invest and grow”