"A lot of family businesses I speak to, perhaps understandably, focus on organic growth, and cash retention and degearing
as the means to creating a stable and sustainable business.
"As part of our role in bringing companies to the regional trading platform, we are regularly in contact with some of the area's leading investors and the feedback we are getting is they are ready to invest and it is the dynamic, smaller diverse businesses which are firmly in focus." Tom Morris-Jones, corporate finance director at brokers Arden Partners, said: "We are still in some very difficult times but there are signs, albeit small ones, that we may be heading in the right direction and the degearing
process for both consumers and companies may well be completed sufficiently enough for final demand to grow at a sensible pace again."
Bob Hale, head of manufacturing at Grant Thornton, said, "We have witnessed a trend of degearing
and increasingly effective asset management within the manufacturing sector in recent years, as UK manufacturers improve their balance sheets and increase international competitiveness through global supply chain development.