Many small business owners will be members of their local Chambers of Commerce, perhaps the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) and their own trade bodies.
Some will also keep a close eye on the business and economic news in the business media. But what kinds of messages do they get from all this?
As they say, “bad news sells”. There has been a fair amount of doom and gloom in the headlines. The Prime Minister’s warnings of the threat of EU stagnation to the UK economy and a new CBI survey reporting that optimism in the service sector is at its lowest for 21 months are two recent examples.
Arguably, most SMEs will be keeping an eye on their cash flow, management accounts, orders and profits as part of the daily tasks of running a business. So they will know how their own businesses are performing.
But how much notice should they take of the UK economy?
It is difficult enough to plan ahead and especially when considering investment in growth. It is even more difficult in times of economic uncertainty or volatility.
There is some evidence that reports of diminishing confidence actually become a self fulfilling prophecy that actually affects business activity.
So should SMEs just grow a thick skin, ignore it all and carry on regardless?