NEARLY half of all businesses have a positive outlook for the future, according to research from Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors.

The legal firm, which carried out the research in conjunction with the UK200Group, revealed that 48 percent of the businesses surveyed across the UK were positive about the future, and only 16 percent had a bleak outlook.

Looking back over the past 12 months, 36 percent of businesses performed better than the previous 12 months, 37 percent had a worse period, leaving 27 percent of businesses saying things were about the same as normal.

Cartmell Shepherd, which operates across Cumbria and Northumberland, helped conduct the research which surveyed 183 businesses across the UK during September and October 2021.

Participants were also asked what one word they would use to describe their outlook for the next 12 months, with “Optimistic” heading the list, closely followed by “Positive”. However, it’s not all rosy, as the third most used word used to describe the outlook was “Uncertain”.

Despite the positive outlook from 48 percent of businesses, 16 percent of the business community reported that things looked bleak. With approximately six million businesses across the UK, this equates to just under one million businesses that are potentially seriously concerned for the future.

The knock-on effect of one million businesses struggling could have serious consequences for the whole economy.

Sam Lyon, head of corporate and commercial at Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors, commented: “Overall, this research is encouraging and shows what a resilient and resourceful business community we have in the UK.

“However, we must not get ahead of ourselves, and we urge businesses to ensure they have their ‘house in order’.

"Now is a time to take stock of your position, make sure you have control of your cash flow and finances, and review your supplier and customer contracts.

“As we see the economic and wider impact of the pandemic taking effect, including the introduction of measures from the Chancellor in his most recent Budget, businesses need to focus on getting the basics right.

"Make sure you are up-to-date with your tax and other financial affairs and expect to see HMRC being more proactive with businesses going forward.”

Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors has offices at Rosehill Carlisle, Carlisle city centre, Brampton, Penrith, Cockermouth and Haltwhistle.

The UK200Group is an invitation-only collaborative of the country’s leading professional services companies.