Blackburn amongst most vulnerable to cuts

A new study of small businesses has warned that northern towns and cities are the most vulnerable to the government's austerity measures - highlighting Blackburn as one of the most at risk.

BlackburnSmall Business Outlook 2013, published by Centre for Cities and supported by global insurer Zurich, shows that the effects of the recession and austerity measures will be felt differently in different towns and cities.

The study suggests that some SMEs are likely to be more vulnerable to changes in their local market brought on by job losses, welfare cuts and constrained wages than others.  SMEs in Cambridge, Crawley and Reading are likely to be best insulated against further cuts, while SMEs in Hull, Liverpool and Blackburn may feel the effects of their customers spending less money in their local economy far sooner and far stronger.

CentreforCities

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities said: “Small and medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy but Small Business Outlook flags that many have been particularly affected by the impact of the recession on their local economies. They will face challenges ahead as further austerity measures have a knock on effect on local demand for their services.

“Government must recognise the importance of local economies to SME performance and resilience and ensure that local partners, including Local Enterprise Partnerships, have a clear role in delivering national business support policies. "High quality, evidence based Local Growth Plans will be critical to helping UK cities navigate the bumpy road of recovery, while support from national organisations such as UKTI, as well as local partners will be vital to helping SMEs diversify their customer base and even move into exports."