Insolvency expert warns of tough year

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SOUTH Yorkshire businesses will face another difficult year in 2013, according a Sheffield insolvency expert.

Deborah Lockwood, partner at insolvency and corporate restructuring specialist Begbies Traynor in Sheffield, said the only companies to thrive this year will be those who ‘build their businesses around the ‘new normal’ rather than waiting for the recovery to come’.

She said: “In the meantime, more businesses outside the south east will fail, while thousands of others struggle purely to stay afloat.”

“Just as it took us 10 to 15 years to get into this mess, it is going to take another 10 to 15 years to get ourselves out of it.

“People and businesses have got into a mindset of spending based on cheap credit and are waiting for those days to return.

“Without a major catalyst, there is no reason to expect those days to return at all, which is why the economy won’t change significantly for a few years yet.”

She said further austerity cuts were yet to hit the public sector and the Bank of England was unable to lower interest rates to stimulate spending, adding: “There are probably still too many pubs and too many shops across Yorkshire and unfortunately these will continue closing until we reach equilibrium.”

But it is not all bad news – Deborah said there were signs of recovery in London and the south east, but government policy was making it difficult for a nationwide recovery.