As we move towards a second national lockdown, FSB Yorkshire, The Humber and North East is today making the case for a fresh iteration of business support measures as its new survey of small firms shows confidence has been in negative territory since July 2018.
The recommendations come amid signs that the UK’s nascent economic recovery is stalling ahead of a second lockdown and an incredibly difficult trading period in the run-up to Christmas and the end of the transition period.
The Yorkshire, Humber & North East Small Business Index (YNESBI), which measures confidence amongst businesses, has fallen to -37 in Q3. The reading taken in Q2 was +3.
Confidence has fallen since last quarter in Yorkshire, The Humber & North East. Uncertainty from the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that business performance confidence has declined once again despite having moved into positive territory at Q2.
The uncertainty in confidence witnessed amongst Yorkshire, The Humber & North East small businesses is apparent across the country, with index scores among all regions in negative territory. That being said, Yorkshire, The Humber & North East small businesses report the second lowest levels of confidence in the England and sits -4% below the national of average of -33%.You can read the full report here
FSB Policy Representative Richard Askew said: "The Yorkshire, The Humber and North East of England Small Business Index (YHNESBI) clearly shows how businesses in Yorkshire, The Humber and North East of England (YHNE) continue to be negatively impacted by the pandemic.
"Whilst YHNE small businesses’ have shown resilience with profits the least affected in terms of revenue compared to other regions in England, the outlook for future revenue in YHNE businesses is more negative than many other regions.
"At the time of writing we are moving into the second National Lockdown, this will inevitably leave many small firms facing the bleakest winter they have ever seen and the second deep recession in twelve months. We have consistently highlighted that far too many are still excluded from the Government’s efforts to help business owners – not least company directors and the newly self-employed and urgent clarity is needed on how these and all small businesses will be supported as we enter this second lockdown.
"For the longer term Business and Entrepreneurs in Yorkshire, The Humber and The North East have long been challenged to “level-up” the economy, but without support, certainty and confidence such aspirations will be impossible. Securing a swift and positive EU deal is imperative for many small businesses at what has been an extremely difficult time."