July 28th, 2017.

Government plans to stimulate the economy through regional initiatives, such as the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine strategy are failing to make an impact on UK SMEs, according to the latest SME Confidence Tracker from the business funder, Bibby Financial Services (BFS).

According to data for Q2, the majority of UK SMEs (66 per cent) are unaware of the Midlands Engine and 43 per cent are not aware of the Northern Powerhouse.

The latest research finds that a third of businesses in the North West (32 per cent), a quarter (25 per cent) in the North East and 31 per cent in Yorkshire and Humberside have never heard of the Northern Powerhouse, despite government aims to engage with ‘businesses and others across the North to consider what more can be done to support the delivery of the Northern Powerhouse.’

The picture is worse still in the Midlands. More than half of SMEs in the West (51 per cent) and East Midlands (56%) are unaware of the Midlands Powerhouse or how it may benefit them.

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