Small business owners in Northern Ireland least confident in the UK

By Neil Logan

Owners of small businesses in Northern Ireland are the least confident in the UK according to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The lack of confidence is thought to have been impacted by the announcement of the loss of 1,000 jobs in Belfast as a result of cuts by Bombardier Inc, which is expected to have a negative impact on smaller firms who are in the chain of supply. Salary growth in Northern Ireland continues to be restricted by the region's heavy dependency on the public sector.

Small business owners have also indicated concern at the potential impact of the upcoming vote on European Union membership, and confidence is down across the UK as a whole. The Small Business Index measures business prospects over the upcoming 3 months, and last year stood at 28.7. It has now fallen to 8.6, after a quarter in which the number of new employees being taken on by small firms in the UK declined for the first time since mid-2013.

If you own or manage a business in Northern Ireland and require legal advice from a solicitor specialising in commercial law, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9295.