Plant growth

More small businesses than ever before are aiming to grow moderately or rapidly in 2014, a report by the Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) has shown.

The FSB’s latest Small Business Index, which surveyed almost 3,000 businesses, found that 62.3% of SMEs want to grow during the year.

Confidence rose to 35.7, breaking the record score of 33.5 in Q3 of 2013, with an increasing number of small businesses saying they want to create jobs in the next three months. This marks the third consecutive quarter of job creation within small firms and emphasises the positive outlook for economic growth in the UKĀ .

In addition, the report shows a considerable improvement in the number of businesses accessing finance and a rise in the number of approvals for applications. This is a sign that credit conditions are easing for SMEs following concern that small businesses were being held back due to the belief they would be refused bank loans.

25% of firms expect to see an increase in export activity in the coming three months and 10% report growth since Q4 of 2013.

John Allan, National Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“There is no doubt small businesses are pushing us further towards economic prosperity and it’s so important to retain this momentum…I believe small firms can do more too – for instance helping long term unemployed youngsters back to work and as the economy continues to improve, boosting wages for the low-paid. With more businesses planning to invest, this can only be good news for the economy and the Chancellor needs to build on this in the budget.”

In the lead up to the Budget, the FSB urges the Chancellor, George Osborne to focus more on small businesses and continue to build on this confidence. The statement said the government should focus on putting a supportive tax environment in place that encourages small firms to invest, create jobs and grow.

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