The survey was completed by 80 accountancy, banking and legal professionals who attended the recent FRP Advisory seminars held in Brighton, Chichester and Eastbourne.
The poll also reveals that 70% of respondents believe the cuts announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) were about right, with 18% judging them as too much, too soon, and 11% fearing they did not go far enough.
Ian Sykes, partner at FRP Advisory in Sussex, comments: “Although 70% of respondents think the cuts announced in the CSR were about right, concern has been expressed elsewhere as to whether the cuts will be effective in making the provision of services more efficient, or whether they will simply make easy savings by cutting frontline services.”
The findings also show that 39% of Sussex-based professionals believe Construction is the worst affected sector in Sussex, with 18% indicating Property, 17% Retail and 11% Hospitality & Leisure.
Ian adds: “The view that construction has been hardest hit is reinforced by our experience as insolvency specialists. Just recently, our Worthing team has been appointed as liquidator to two long established family businesses in the construction industry, and we anticipate seeing further instability within the sector throughout 2011.”
Furthermore, 79% of those surveyed do not think that it is any easier for businesses to get bank funding for growth today than it was 12 months ago.
Simon Glyn, partner at FRP Advisory and Head of Banking – Live Side Support, concludes: “Although there has been more focus amongst the Banks in recent months to get their lending books moving, what this result may also demonstrate is the inability of SME businesses to provide meaningful management information and, more importantly, forward looking projections to support any increase in working capital facilities, which would undoubtedly enable many more lending applications to be sanctioned by the Banks. The Banks have been, and continue to be, an easy target for the media, but these financial disciplines in businesses are also key components if the UK is to hit its GDP growth target in the coming years.”
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FRP Advisory LLP offers a comprehensive suite of restructuring, recovery and insolvency services to the mid-market and financial community. FRP Advisory is focused on enhancing the performance of businesses, as well as saving businesses in distress.