HSBC survey shows West Midlands firms confident of growth

But few local businesses likely to start trading overseas in the next 12 months.

A survey conducted by Ipsos-Mori for HSBC has found that small and medium-sized enterprises in the West Midlands are more confident of growth than any other UK region, but are unlikely to expand abroad.

The recent survey, which investigates the attitudes and concerns of more than 1,000 firms in the UK, found that despite reticence to trade internationally almost half of firms in the West Midlands say finding new customers is one of their most pressing concerns.

Findings from HSBC’s survey into the firms market include:

· Almost one in five (18 per cent) of firms in the West Midlands expect to grow by more than 20 per cent this year – more than any other UK region
· Only six per cent are likely to begin trading internationally in the coming year
· Finding new customers is one of the most pressing concerns for 43 per cent of firms in the West Midlands

HSBC hosted an event to connect mid-market businesses in the West Midlands with industry peers, share business challenges, and pose questions to a panel of experts on the topic of expanding in to new markets. The event, titled Connecting for Growth: Growth Through New Markets, was held on July 7th, at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield.

Gary Burton, HSBC’s Regional Director of Corporate Banking in the Midlands, who sat on the panel of experts, said: “It’s great that firms in the West Midlands are more bullish about growth than in any other region. I’d like more, however, to be looking to expand in to new markets to find new customers.

“The Connecting for Growth: Growth Through New Markets event was an invaluable chance to hear about the significant business opportunities trading internationally can bring. Firms that are looking to expand, both at home and abroad, can apply for funding from HSBC’s £400 million West Midlands SME fund.”