Close Brothers Business Barometer

UK Skills Gap Continues to Cause Small Business Headaches

UK Skills Gap Continues to Cause Small Business Headaches

The UK’s skills gap continues to cause small businesses problems with 31% admitting that at least one of their current employee doesn’t have the skills their business needs, the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer (CBBB) has found. Looking to future growth55% of the businesses surveyed have predicted that they won’t be able to find suitable employees because of a skills shortage in their industry (43%) or region (12%). Despite this concern, of the small firms looking to take on staff in 206, only 5% plan to take on an apprentice. Furthermore, 75% of small businesses were found to not have an apprentice programme in place and over half (52%) don’t plan on launching one. According to the CBBB, which interviewed900 small and medium-sized business owners, the top reason for no... »

Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Concerned about Funding Growth

Over half of small businesses have growth plans but two thirds believe they will not get the necessary funding from banks A recent survey by Close Brothers Business Barometer (CBBB) emphasised the need for small and mid-sized businesses to consider alternative finance options. The survey revealed that over 50% of small businesses plan to grow next year, but in order to do so they must seek funding from their banks – which nearly two thirds believe they may be denied. The number of businesses concerned about being refused funding has risen 10% since the start of 2013, with one in five respondents denied financial help by their bank in the last six months. The survey emphasised a need for a change in small and mid-sized bank lending; and the necessity of alternative funding information for s... »