GDP growth welcomed by UK small businesses

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GDP growth welcomed by UK small businesses (image credit: iStock/Devonyu)

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the announcement that UK gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.5 per cent during the third quarter of 2016.

Official statistics showed a significant upturn in the economy over what was an extremely uncertain time for the nation as a whole, with the fallout from Brexit continuing to weigh heavily on the outlook of many firms.

It is therefore an extremely surprising but positive development that GDP has risen during this time, with the result that growing confidence in the UK's economic recovery could deliver a more stable environment for firms up and down the country.

FSB national chairman Mike Cherry stated: "The growth we have seen is, in no small part, due to small businesses' hard work and resilience. This is against a backdrop of unavoidable economic uncertainty following the referendum result, coupled with growing domestic challenges."

However, the FSB chief went on to add that ongoing instability remains a serious barrier to growth for many small firms across the UK, with 62 per cent of small business leaders responding to a recent FSB survey stating they feel hampered by the lacklustre performance of the domestic economy over the last year.

Last week, the government announced it will be building a third runway at Heathrow Airport in London and this was hailed as an extremely positive development for UK small businesses - offering firms across the UK an increased opportunity to target overseas markets.

Now though, there remains a range of other domestic concerns that small business leaders wish to see addressed to provide a more stable economic future and give businesses the confidence to grow.

Indeed, for GDP to continue to rise over the long-term, the FSB believes small businesses must receive additional support to succeed, expand and take on extra staff.

Mr Cherry concluded: "The challenge is clear. The government must now move on from the decision on Heathrow to the Autumn Statement and use it to prioritise long-term national, regional and local investment, enterprise policy and innovation."