Action plan for firms to cope with recovery

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The Independent Online
SMALL businesses that have survived the depths of recession might think they are over the worst. But the conventional view is that more companies fail coming out of economic downturns than during them.

Against this background, Grant Thornton - one of many accounting firms trying hard to woo the owner-manager clients that are seen as the leaders of recovery - is offering free reviews of the options available.

Companies taking advantage of 'Action for Growth' will receive a wide-ranging consultation that could include acquisition opportunities, overseas trade, effective tax planning and marketing. Howard Hackney, Grant Thornton's marketing partner for the North-west, said the firm was genuinely trying to help businesses. But he admitted that it hoped they would become clients 'at the end of the day'.

The initiative follows a similar campaign last year, which attracted considerable national interest. Andrew Godfrey, head of growth and development services, said: 'The needs of a business change as it grows and, with the first signs of a sustainable economic recovery, owner-managers now have a prime opportunity to take stock and plan for the future.

'Attempting to grow after an extended period of attrition, however, is quite a different proposition from expanding during a boom. Many owner-managers will find themselves in uncharted territory in their efforts to take advantage of improvements in trading conditions.'