75% of small businesses believe the economy will see an upturn in 2010
35% predict an improvement by January 2010
45% say their business operates for the better as a result of the downturn
41% believe small businesses will innovate and diversify to create new industries as the UK emerges from the downturn
Nationally 48 % of small businesses say turnover is down with nearly a quarter seeing a dip of more than 10%.
61% are confident about their business prospects for the coming year
Northern Ireland, London and the West Midlands are the most affected regions
Word of mouth plays a crucial role in business survival, with small firms looking to peers, friends or family for advice. 47% of respondents have approached peers and 32% choose friends and family before their banks (29%).
External support is still critical to drive business forward; 43% of respondents want more support around access to finance, 39% ask for more access to legal and regulatory advice and 33% request more advice about growing their business.
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The small business community has fought bravely to survive the downturn. Our findings show that we are now at a tipping point. Despite the obvious knock to confidence, positivity about when the upturn will come is encouraging. The UKs smaller firms are innovating to succeed and now more than ever, the right support and resources must be available to allow them to compete and thrive.
Mick Hegarty, strategy director, BT Business
Small businesses are vital to the countrys economic recovery; they dont want a hand out, but a hand up. They know that if they make it in the tough times then they can prosper in the better times. Its important that we listen and understand to the practical problems which they face, so that established companies can grow and new businesses can flourish.
Mark Prisk, MP, Conservative Shadow Small Business Minister
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In the year ended 31 March 2009, BT Groups revenue was £21,390 million.
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