Contractors with their own businesses are showing increasing optimism for 2014, with many of the UK’s smaller firms wanting to grow their business next year.
The latest research, carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), revealed that the country’s small and medium-sized companies remain positive about the economic outlook, with the report suggesting that small firms, such as Limited company owners, want to grow and find access to finance a little easier.
The FSB’s Small Business Index found that for the fourth consecutive quarter, small firm confidence has grown year-on-year, and in every region of the UK, as well as in each business sector.
The report suggests that this increased confidence means more small firms are planning to invest in and explore the global trade market. New data shows businesses expect to see rapid or moderate expansion in the next 12 months. Alongside this, one in 10 businesses report running above capacity while a third are running at full capacity – both the highest figures since the Small Business Index began in 2010.
The FSB also found that, encouragingly, the number of firms refused their credit application is the joint lowest share since the start of 2012, and those businesses accepted for finance continue to report cheaper interest rates being charged, which is believed to be a direct result of the Funding for Lending (FLS) scheme.
John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said, “Confidence has been in positive territory for a full year, giving economic growth solid foundations moving into 2014. Small firms are creating more jobs and investing in their business and there are encouraging results behind the headline figures, with promising trends evident across the main areas of expansion, investment and employment.”
“Government must not be complacent – helpful initiatives were announced in the Autumn Statement, particularly on business rates. This, alongside the refocusing of Funding for Lending, should continue to keep small firms in the spotlight. However, a sustained recovery is perhaps some way off as the worldwide economy remains uncertain.”
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