Federation of Small Businesses in Wales says resilience is growing

Businesses in Wales are becoming increasingly resilient, new research has suggested.

The Federation of Small Businesses in Wales said more than half of its members had introduced a new product or service over the past two years.

But there are still concerns over low bank lending and late payments.

It is calling on the Welsh government to reform business rates and to make it easier for small businesses to access public sector contracts.

The survey which spoke to 461 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) shows 66% have introduced a new product or service, while 52% are targeting growth over the next year.

Welsh Policy Unit chair Janet Jones said: "We often hear the small business community referred to as resilient and today's findings provide unequivocal evidence that this is not simply rhetoric on the part of business leaders.

"Clearly, issues such as low bank lending and late payments are ongoing concerns, but businesses are still targeting growth and looking to expand their client base over the next 12 months."

Professor Gary Packham, the head of Glamorgan Business School, told BBC Radio Wales more must be done to support small businesses.

Effects of recession

"Small firms play an integral part in economic recovery and a vibrant economy so it's good to see businesses in Wales are reporting resilience.

"Some firms may not be growing significantly but they are making an important contribution.

"We have to recognise that although the report is showing resilience there are those that will be feeling the effects of recession.

"Things that we can do like reducing tax, red tape, giving access to public sector procurement, are all important to the sector as a whole.

"We have got to do more to support our small businesses because they are the core of any successful economic development policy."

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