Firms cut back just to survive

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Almost half of small businesses in the area say trading conditions are so tough, they are making cuts just to survive.

That’s according to the Business Factors Index, produced by invoice finance specialists Bibby Financial Services, which analysed the performance and outlook of small and medium sized forms in the East Midlands during the second quarter of 2012.

The report found 40 per cent of firms said business is worse than 12 months ago, while 42 per cent are increasing prices (up from 16 per cent in Q1), 82 per cent are cutting costs and overheads, and only 9 per cent have seen an increase in new business, down from 21 per cent in Q1.

Just 19 per cent of firms said there was an increase in new customers during Q2, which is down significantly on the Q1 figure of 42 per cent, suggesting businesses have been faced with some of the toughest trading conditions in the UK.

It is also likely to be why the East Midlands has the highest number of businesses in the UK - 41 per cent - calling on the Government to provide more support to help steer the region’