Businesses are still looking to expand despite economic uncertainty
Most businesses are still looking to expand despite economic uncertainty and the belief by a significant minority that the UK will be poorer post Brexit, according to new research.
The new report highlights that when presented with a range of political leaders, 44 per cent of the businesses surveyed believed that Theresa May would have the most positive impact on their business followed by 20 per cent for Donald Trump, 17 per cent respectively for Jean Claude Juncker and Jeremy Corbyn.
Cybercrime and other fraud is the main concern for UK businesses with almost 40 per cent believing this would be the most significant threat to their growth. Brexit was the second highest concern with 28 per cent saying they were most concerned by restriction on EU goods and services and 20 per cent concerned by the restriction of free movement of people. 10 per cent of businesses were worried about the impact of rising inflation.
Furthermore, companies plan to expand despite a significant minority, 41 per cent, expecting interest rates to rise by over 0.25 per cent. A slim minority of 13 per cent believed that rates would rise by only up to 0.25 per cent.
In light of continuing economic uncertainty 44 per cent of UK businesses intend to make the largest cuts to their office costs rather than making significant reduction to the size of their workforce. Only 17 per cent UK businesses intended to actively cut salaries, recruitment or bonuses.
In seeking more flexible office accommodation some 62 per cent of respondents said the facilities provided were the most important followed by just under a quarter saying that the flexibility of terms was most critical.
Giles Fuchs, CEO of Office Space in Town, said: “Businesses are still in expansion mode despite the twin threats of Brexit uncertainty and a rising interest rate environment. But it is also significant that cybercrime fraud are rated as a higher threat than the consequences of leaving the EU. Against this backdrop companies are sensibly looking not to trim their workforce but are looking to make cuts in other areas such as reducing their fixed office costs in favour of more flexible arrangements such as those offered by serviced offices where they get a high standard of facilities and services combined with a low cost arrangement. In an uncertain economic climate this is ideal”.