Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Firms fear short-lived events boost

Small and medium-sized businesses fear a post-Jubilee and Olympics hangover

Small firms expect their business to be boosted by the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, but some are worried that the events could be followed by a "worrying dip" in revenues, according to new research.

A study among 500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) found most optimism in London, the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East.

The report by insurance giant Aviva said trading conditions remained tough, with more than one in five firms worried that the positive effects of this year's events could be short-lived.

The Jubilee delivered an increase in revenues for more than a quarter of firms, although only 6% said they found trading conditions easier than expected during the first half of the year.

David Bruce, commercial product manager at Aviva, said: "Based on this latest data, SME owners are hanging on in there. Trading conditions clearly remain tough, while it seems many owners are perhaps being more pragmatic than optimistic in their forecasting of future revenues.

"Diversification in particular is an excellent way to protect and grow the bottom line, while efforts to capitalise on the Jubilee and summer sporting boost are other examples of this.

"For some SMEs, the investment has paid off, with revenues increasing markedly already this summer."

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