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Small businesses - the key performance indicators

By Paul Reeves

At Yorkshire Bank we are committed to working with our SME customers to ensure they have the right support in place to grow and develop.

Last year we launched a quarterly report – the SME Health Check Index – which is designed to measure SME’s ‘health’ by reviewing the business and macroeconomic environment within which they operate.

Published in partnership with leading economic consultancy, the Centre for Business and Economics Research (Cebr), the report provides key insight into SME performance across eight indicators including, bankruptcies, business costs, capacity, confidence, employment, gross domestic product, lending and revenue. The UK is given a score out of 100, with the higher the number the better for SMEs. The report is also broken down via region with each area also receiving its own score.

We recently issued our latest report, which shows the health of SMEs in the West Midlands has remained stable in the second quarter of 2018.

The SME Health Check Index demonstrates just how much can change for SMEs from quarter to quarter. Our last report in June indicated a difficult start to 2018 and the weather conditions didn’t help matters, but the second quarter does provide some grounds for optimism. GDP has made gains, and the Index remains steady, dropping by only 0.5 points.

However, on a closer look, there are still indicators causing concern, which doesn’t provide as positive a story across the UK. Most important for us, lending has not improved. Our critical task is to ensure that the operating environment for SMEs – exporters, importers and entirely domestically focused businesses alike – is as uninterrupted as possible. As a lender, we are playing our part and remain committed to supporting SMEs to help them navigate this challenging market, while staying on track to meet our three-year lending pledge of £300m to businesses across the Midlands.

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