It seems as though 2014 just got that little bit better. The Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) latest Small Business Index has revealed that things are on the up for our beloved SMEs.
Of the 3,000 businesses questioned in the FSB’s latest survey, 15% said they wanted to take on more people in the second quarter of 2014, following the 11% of businesses that did just that in the previous three months.
Furthermore, the figures show a noticeable rise in the number of businesses gaining access to finance, which, despite today’s budget indicating we’re not out of the woods yet, is a welcome sign that conditions seem to be easing for smaller companies.
The report also revealed that confidence rose to 35.7, breaking the record of 33.5 back in the third quarter of 2013, and that almost two thirds of small firms expect to grow in the next 12 months.
We’ve saved the best for last though. It’s certainly hard not to feel optimistic upon learning that more small firms expect to see increased profitability and turnover in the next three months, with 25% of companies anticipating an increase in export activity. Needless to say, things only look set to improve further on the export front with the government doubling the amount of finance available to exporters by £3bn whilst cutting interest rates by a third, as announced by George Osborne today.
“Once again, we see confidence on the up – and small firms leading the way in job creation,” said John Allan, FSB national chairman. “There is no doubt small businesses are pushing us further towards economic prosperity and it’s so important to retain this momentum.”
We’re with you on that one, John!