End to the Euro Crisis Tops 2012 Wish List

Resolving the euro crisis has topped small firms’ wish list for 2012, a survey by IFF Research has highlighted.

Indicating that the financial uncertainty associated with the crisis has taken its toll on small businesses, the poll of 400 small businesses found that 36 per cent — the largest percentage in the IFF survey — wanted to see France and Germany "acting decisively to end the trouble in Europe".

One fifth stated that they would like to see Britain leave the EU in 2012.

The euro crisis has put additional pressure on many small businesses, through a combination of reduced demand for British exports, rising inflation and fluctuating currency values which have lowered the value of the pound.

Andrew Cave, chief spokesperson at the Federation of Small Businesses, said that economic volatility in the euro zone had been disastrous for many small firms.

"Over 20 per cent of UK small businesses export, and of those, 80 per cent export to Europe, so the crisis is having a direct impact on businesses in this country. It’s casting a very dark shadow on what is already a difficult trading situation."

Cave added that "slumping business confidence in the UK" was affecting even those without trading links to Europe.

"Even if your customers are not affected directly, people feel nervous about the weak financial outlook, which in turn is affecting buying decisions. It’s hardly surprising that small-business owners want the crisis resolved as soon as possible."

Mark Speed, joint managing director at IFF Research, said Europe was a vital trading market and that many small businesses were seeking stability.

"We’ve now had over four years of business uncertainty since the sub-prime mortgage and Northern Rock crises,"

"The large proportion hoping that the ‘Merkozy’ approach will work indicates the potential impact success or failure could have on the UK’s small businesses."

Other business wishes revealed in the poll included a significant increase in UK public sector spending (17 per cent) and a ban on all strikes (13 per cent).

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