The Road to Recovery: New Poll Shows One in Five SMEs Welcoming Back Clients and Contributing to Economic Stability

For the second year running, the top business opportunity for SMEs is the return of clients as the economy stabilises, according to a new report.

One in five SME owners see this as a key opportunity for growth in 2023 – while 20% are looking to introduce new products or services, and 19% expect to acquire new domestic clients.

Increasing revenues through new sales channels, and sticking to new working patterns such as remote or hybrid working, complete the top five business opportunities for 2023, according to the poll of 500 SME owners.

And while a fifth of small business owners in 2022 saw the closure of competitors as something to capitalise on, this has now slid down the list, with just 12% saying the same this year.

Other priorities from 2022 that are less important now include implementing new technology to improve business efficiency.

Responding to the findings, Steven … Read more

S&P, NASDAQ at 10-month Highs

Stocks advanced on Thursday after the U.S. House passed a debt ceiling bill in a crucial step to avoid a U.S. default, with the measure now moving it to the Senate.

The Dow Jones Industrials grabbed 154.09 points to conclude Thursday at 33,062.36, despite a nearly 4.7% tumble in Salesforce following its earnings report, which put a clamp on gains.

The much-broader S&P 500 took on 41.19 points, or 1%, to 4,221.02, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ index leaped 165.7 points, or 1.3%, to 13,100.98. Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ closed at their highest levels since August 2022.

Beyond the debt ceiling battle, investors are looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s June 13-14 policy meeting as another possible market catalyst. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said Wednesday that he’s leaning toward skipping a rate hike at the upcoming gathering.

But Friday’s payrolls report could change his mind, he said.

Data … Read more

FSB launches ‘Sunshine List’ of ideas to empower hospitality firms as tourism season kicks off

Policymakers have a golden opportunity to help small firms make the most of tourism season this summer as the holiday season kicks off, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB.)

The UK’s unparalleled attractions, coupled with favourable exchange rates, will likely attract a wave of international visitors over the next few months – while budget-conscious Brits will be looking to make their money go further with local staycations.

Recent data from the latest Small Business Index (SBI) shows there has been a big rebound in confidence in accommodation and food services, up 53.7 points to -17.8 points.

The fact that it remains in the negative zone highlights the challenges faced by the sector in the aftermath of Covid-19 – with 77% of small tourism and hospitality firms saying they carry some sort of debt, compared to 59% pre-pandemic.

This means the Government and other policymakers must consider urgent ways … Read more