So we’re here – officially in the second dip of our double-dip recession. At the coffee shop we never saw a way of avoiding it – although, if I am honest, there was just the shortest of times when we thought that just maybe we would escape.
Let’s face it Flat-line George has to tackle the debt situation. There is no alternative to that because our current level of debt is unsustainable. And to be honest you cannot cut debt too quickly, only too slowly. But what can the Government do, realistically, to “stimulate growth and employment”?
Ask any SME owner if they want to grow their company and most will say “yes”. Ask what the obstacles are to SME growth and most will rattle out the usual “lack of bank lending”, “excessive and restrictive regulation” etc., etc. This is all fact and unless these issues are tackled head-on SME growth will remain stunted. Current Government interventions to tackle some of these obstacles are positive and in the right environment might start to have some impact. But take a look at the environment businesses find themselves in and you might understand why nothing yet seems to work.
It really is time to take our heads out of the sand. The biggest obstacle to SME growth right now is fear of the future: economic instability in Europe; political upheaval and instability in the Middle East; a rapidly contracting public sector customer base; and, consumers around much of the world simply not buying as much as they used to. How many SMEs are prepared to risk their economic stability by investing in growth against that backdrop? Answer: virtually none.