Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

First Recession? Time to Think about the Future; Advertisement Feature

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

First Recession? Time to Think about the Future; Advertisement Feature

Article excerpt

NEW research has raised concerns that 57% of North East businesses could be so shaken by experiencing their first recession that they stay in "survival" mode and miss opportunities presented by an upturn.

A number of interesting statistics were revealed in a recent study commissioned by Lloyds TSB Commercial, which supports small to medium-sized enterprises.

The study - which revealed that a high proportion of regional companies weren't even around in 1990/91 - surveyed hundreds of firms across the UK over the impact of the recession and their experience of previous downturns.

It highlighted that less than a third of the firms which were around almost 20 years ago had taken steps to put a plan in place to help them grow as the downturn ended.

Only a relatively low 14% of companies could say that they had not been affected in the early 90s recession while a fifth said they had "struggled but pulled through".

But just 7% of those had taken a fresh look at research and development and only a fifth had reviewed their finances.

David Streather, senior business development manager for Lloyds TSB Commercial in the North East, explained: "As the UK begins to see green shoots, it is important to note that those SMEs which have never experienced such economic upheaval have also never planned a strategy to climb out of it.

"The last 18 months have been difficult for most businesses but getting out of that survival mindset could be more difficult for the companies which have no recession experience.

"It is how these firms take advantage of the upturn which will help to shape their futures."

Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy summed up some business truths at a recent retail conference, telling delegates that now was a great climate for implementing change, innovating or "setting off in a new direction" because costs are typically lower and it is cheaper to enter new markets. …

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