Yorkshire businesses remain resilient despite uncertainty

Yorkshire businesses remain resilient despite uncertainty
William Ballmann of R3

Businesses in Yorkshire are continuing to put in a strong performance, regardless of the ongoing political and economic uncertainty, according to R3.

Indeed, April saw a slight fall month on month in the level of companies in the region at greater than average risk of insolvency for the second consecutive month.

The latest research from R3 shows that the proportion of Yorkshire businesses deemed to be at elevated risk of insolvency in the next 12 months fell by 0.6% between March and April, building on the previous month’s drop of 0.2%.

However, the number of higher risk companies remains high with nearly 99,500 of the almost 225,000 active businesses in the region currently in this category, representing 44.3% of Yorkshire businesses. The figure is slightly above the UK average of 42.7%.

This month, all except one of the key sectors surveyed by R3 in the region saw a fall in levels of businesses at elevated insolvency risk.

The sharpest falls were seen among tourism operators with a drop of 3.8%; followed by hotels (-2.1%); technology (-1.1%), transport (-1.5%); and agriculture (-1.3%). Only Yorkshire pubs saw an increase in risk out of the sectors tracked by R3, with a rise of just 0.05%.

“After a period of Brexit uncertainty, as well as concerns about the slowing of the global economy and inflationary pressures, it’s good to see almost all sectors in Yorkshire faring better this year,” said William Ballmann, R3 council member representing R3 in Yorkshire and consultant at listed national law firm Gateley.

These latest figures are particularly pleasing when compared with the same period of 2018 which saw many months of gradually escalating distress both regionally and across the UK as a whole.

“While British businesses are still struggling to plan effectively in the face of the unknown, they appear to be weathering the storm for the time being.

“However, with economic growth in the UK expected to be subdued, as well as the added cash flow pressures of stockpiling ahead of a possible no-deal Brexit, there are still challenging times ahead for many businesses.

“In such a difficult and unprecedented situation, it’s vital that directors keep a close eye on their finances and seek professional help at the first signs of trouble when the most options will be open to them.”