Business

Medium-sized businesses focused on growth despite Brexit-related uncertainty

Launching the CBI MSM campaign in Belfast are (from left) Peter Donaldson (Low Pay Commission), Angela McGowan (CBI) and Sean Lavery (BDO)

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MEDIUM-sized businesses (MSBs) played a leading role in the economic recovery after the global financial crisis – and now they are gearing up for another challenging period after Brexit.

CBI, in partnership with BDO, has launched a campaign in Northern Ireland to host a programme of MSB Clubs, bringing together companies and industry experts to discuss key issues and explore growth opportunities.

"Over the course of the year, we will bring together local companies from across the mid-market to share knowledge and best practice whilst also helping to influence the wider policy debate," says BDO Northern Ireland tax partner Sean Lavery.

"With high quality discussions and presentations from expert guest speakers, the campaign presents the ideal opportunity for local senior executives to network and build invaluable contacts."

He added: “High performing small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are the engine of the Northern Ireland economy and have been quietly driving innovation and sustainable growth across a number of sectors. To successfully charter our way through these uncertain times will require SMEs to accelerate ambitious plans, access lucrative markets and create new jobs.

“It is right that they should have access to meaningful support and guidance as they prepare to encounter new challenges and opportunities. CBI deserves credit for taking the lead and creating a forum where practical advice and know-how can be translated into confidence and growth.”

CBI regional director Angela McGowan said: "The CBI MSB campaign, now in its fifth year, is aimed at supporting those businesses with a turnover above £10 million to grow faster.

"In Northern Ireland, these companies generate more than £16 billion and employ 15 per cent of the total workforce.

"If we look back over the last five years, public sector employment growth here has fallen, while the private sector has created thousands of jobs. But we can’t be complacent and must do more to harness the business nous and entrepreneurism found all across the region.

“Through this campaign, we can support this high growth sector - the 'seed-bed' from which a rebalanced economy can grow – driven by private sector exports, investment and innovation.

“There’s real potential for these dynamic firms to create more growth and jobs as they explore and enter globally competitive markets - and this is outlined in part, within the draft Industrial Strategy for Northern Ireland."

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