02 Jan, 2013

Prospects for the legal sector in the new year were given a boost today after a study of SMEs found 42% expect growth in 2013.

With SMEs and entrepreneurs seen by many as key to the country’s economic revival, research from The Co-operative Bank has revealed that a majority of legal SMEs believe they will see an increase in business next year.  
The findings also show that 33% expect to take on new staff, whilst 21% plan to invest in their business, for example through new equipment or improvement to premises.

Keith Alderson, Managing Director of Corporate and Business Banking at The Co-operative Bank, said: “SMEs and entrepreneurs are widely acknowledged as vital to Britain’s economic recovery so these results are good news as we head in to 2013.

“As the curtain closes on another tough year it seems many legal SMEs are now looking forward with a cautious sense of optimism about the challenges for their businesses next year.

“We see this entrepreneurial spirit day-in, day-out in our dealings with customers and I’m not surprised that SMEs are adapting and exploring new markets to overcome the economic challenges.”

Asked about the challenges facing their business in 2013, a quarter (25%) surprisingly said they did not view the current economic climate as their main concern.  

Uncertainty in the economy was still, however, by far and away the biggest challenge with 75% saying it was a major challenge. Red tape and regulation were regarded as the next main issue cited by 38%, followed by cashflow (33%).  

The study also found that just 17% felt business would fall in 2013 although 21% said they had suffered a decline in 2012.  Some 29% also experienced a decline in recruitment this year, but just 13% felt that this would continue in 2013.

The study was carried out on the Bank’s behalf by YouGov.

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