From the latest Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain a report that new business openings are on the rise and that for the first time in two years a positive sales performances.
A small increase in sales performance has been shown in all sectors, except with small retailers. Prospect for sales in small firms for the next quarter is positive with the exception of the hotel and restaurant industry that is expecting no improvement. Hotels and restaurants, in the last survey, reported a 30% decrease from the previous 12 months, which was the worst reported. The latest quarter is still negative but only reported at a 4% decrease.
Employment in small firms has remained flat, small manufacturing companies have reported an increase of over 13% in the last year.
The biggest business problem remains the economic outlook.
Less than 33% of the businesses spent money on environmental impact in the last 12 months. Larger businesses are doing more in this area, with almost half investing machinery of equipment for environmental assessment.
Carbon emissions are now being noticed by smaller firms, but larger firms of 20 or more employees are still leading with 22% measuring their carbon emissions. Smaller firms rely on the media for advice about environmental issues. While larger companies rely on Government funded services smaller businesses have not taken advantaged of these sources.
Small firms in Britain have a large impact on the environment, says Dr. Richard Blundel of Open University Business School. How they operate and what they help needed is important as the economy rebounds especially with regard to carbon emissions. There seems to be a lack of support for the smaller firms and there are still major challenges ahead.