Regional growth is on hold while we wait for the election

Plainly we’re already hearing political promises ahead of the 2015 election and most noticeably a recognition that the political focus may be shifting away from London.

Small businesses have been saying for many months that the economic picture on investment and their ability to grow is a lot less rosy than in the capital.

Surprise, surprise, Westminster seems finally to be listening with announcements from both Labour and this week from the Coalition on a promised £5 billion of Government investment to be allocated to local authorities and businesses for building homes, improving transport links and for small business support services and new training opportunities.

None of this will happen until after the election at the earliest and that is not helpful for the many small businesses anxious to take advantage of positive signs in the economy.

In the meantime Deloitte has carried out a poll of 112 chief financial officers in bigger companies, which has revealed that while these larger companies were a little more confident about investing and expanding, the respondents felt that the political uncertainty about the election, the Scottish and potential EU referenda were the biggest risks to business.

It would seem therefore that before any “feelgood factor” translates into investment and growth flowing down to small businesses, especially to those in the regions, we need to get the next general election out of the way.

This will provide greater certainty about the future, which in turn influences the confidence about the economy that is needed to justify investment in growth.

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