Recent research commissioned by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) suggests that the North-South divide is set to widen in the next decade. It indicates that London businesses expect to grow on average of 44%, whereas Northern businesses only predict an average of 33%.
The report surveyed 500 business owners and highlighted a major factor affecting regional growth which is the implementation of digital infrastructure and software. One third of Northern businesses plan to reduce their online expenditure compared with only 22% of London businesses. Additionally, 10% of most businesses surveyed wanted to increase spend but simply did not have the finances and a further 11% felt they simply did not have the skills.
George Osborne suggested in his pre-election Budget that he intended to put "power into the Northern Powerhouse" which sent encouragement to many. However, more needs to be done to instil confidence in small businesses especially those in Northern regions.