Skip to content

Business & Economy

‘Don’t panic – opportunities are still there’ – Justin Urquhart Stewart urges caution amid financial turbulence

A top economic commentator has advised business owners to stay calm amid the volatile financial environment.

Justin Urquhart Stewart, founder of Seven Investment Management, told an Entrepreneurs’ Forum dinner “that opportunities are there”, despite the impact of the Government’s now abandoned tax plans, which tanked the pound.

Speaking at Newcastle’s Jesmond Dene House, he said that although business owners are feeling “frustration and panic”, there are still many openings “to thrive in the global economy.”

Addressing delegates before the Government’s U-turn on abolishing the top rate of tax for the highest earners, he said: “Despite everything that’s been announced, the global economy is still growing.

“For business owners, it’s looking at opportunities available.

“The value of the pound has fallen, which means exports are now very good value, so businesses can take advantage.

“Imports are more expensive, but it’s looking at whether we can create those products ourselves.”

He added: “North East entrepreneurs are some of the most dynamic people I’ve come across.

“They are constantly finding new ways of doing things, using their initiative and working among themselves.”

He also attacked the – now amended – mini budget of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, branding it “amateur and reckless”.

He added: “Individuals have concerns over energy prices, the war in Ukraine, overall inflation in commodity prices and mortgage interest rates.

“We need leaders to admit it’s going to be difficult and to provide the light at the end of the tunnel.”



Elaine Stroud, Entrepreneurs’ Forum chief executive [pictured, above], added: “We really value Justin’s encouragement that entrepreneurial businesses are well suited to grasping the opportunities presented by changing market conditions.

“It will be interesting to see how our members can take advantage of the current economic challenges over the coming months.”