31 March 2017

  |  CBI Northern Ireland

News, Update

Medium-sized businesses focused on growth despite uncertainty associated with Brexit

MSBs played a leading role in the economic recovery after the global financial crisis – and now they are gearing up for another challenging period with life – and growth - after Brexit.

Medium-sized businesses focused on growth despite uncertainty associated with Brexit

CBI, in partnership with BDO Northern Ireland, has launched the 2017 MSB campaign in Northern Ireland, with the dates for three MSB Clubs and a conference announced.

Mid-sized businesses (MSBs) have been the driving force behind the UK’s overseas turnover in the last five years, according to a recent BDO survey, and this underlines the critical importance of these firms to the overall growth of our economy.

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. 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 as they explore growth opportunities.

Commenting at the launch, Angela McGowan, CBI Director said:

"The CBI MSB campaign, now in its fifth year, is aimed at supporting those businesses with a turnover above £10m, to grow faster. In Northern Ireland, these companies generate more than £16 billion and employ 15% of the total workforce.

"If we look back over the last 5 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 the CBI’s MSB 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."

Sean Lavery, Tax Partner at BDO Northern Ireland said:

“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.”

The 2017 MSB Programme in Northern Ireland includes:

Q1: MSB Club Session 1: Introducing the National Living Wage - good or bad?
Commissioner for the Low Pay Commission, Peter Donaldson provided insight, whilst taking note of the concerns and issues that are likely to impact local manufacturers, hospitality and care sector.

Q2: MSB Club Sessions 2: Succession Planning & Tax Implications
Maybeth Shaw, Tax Partner, BDO will present advice and guidance around tax planning for succession. Succession planning is a vital aspect of the long-term strategy for family businesses – and careful planning is required to ensure that any potential tax exposure is minimized. Maybeth will provide some examples and also introduce some local companies who have successfully made the transition. Click here for more information or to register 

Q3: CBI MSB 24hr Conference - Navigating the Competitve Business World 
Hugely successful and popular annual conference with 50 CEO/MDs/FDs from local medium sized businesses. This year David Meade will provide an energetic workshop on how to be persuasive and maximise influence - this will be of particular interest to MSB companies involved in growing markets outside of Europe. Click here for more information or to register

Q4: MSB Club: Economy 2030 - how to be a globally competitive business
Working across the 5 pillars of innovation, people & skills, regional growth, infrastructure and succeeding in global markets, we aim to discuss and evaluate the ambitions for Northern Ireland - what we have achieved and what we can achieve. Click here for more information or to register.

More information about CBI MSB Campaign

Our work has focused on a wide range of areas, delivering a number of ground breaking reports that:

Economic growth powered by entrepreneurial spirit in Northern Ireland

MSB Summit London - Director-General's speech

Showcase why mid-market companies should be championed by government and stakeholders alike

How can business meet the productivity challenge?

Show how the supply of finance for growing companies can be improved

Life in the fast lane

For more information on the MSB Campaign, please contact anthea.savage@cbi.org.uk or call 028 9010 1117