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Small businesses ‘robust’ as they prepare to invest

Small businesses are in a “robust mood” with confidence markedly improved in the second quarter of 2015, according to the Federation of Small Businesses.

The latest FSB small business index showed that companies’ plans to grow and invest are at the highest levels since the index began in 2010.  

Almost two thirds (65.3%) of small businesses surveyed plan to grow moderately or rapidly in the next three months and one third of businesses (32%) plan to increase capital investment over the next year. The number of firms that have employed new staff has risen to 8.9, a sharp increase from 2% reported 12 months ago.

The Southeast continues to dominate in business confidence followed by the West and East Midlands. Wales has seen a fall in confidence, with a fall in employment, and confidence figures are also lower in Scotland than the UK as a whole.

John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said the results show the “major role” that small businesses play in the growth of the UK’s economy.

“It is critical the new government continues to develop the right environment to support businesses planning to grow, invest and take on new staff in the next 12 months. In the budget and its upcoming Enterprise Bill, ministers should prioritise supporting small business growth, simplify business taxes, raise skills and tackle poor payment practices,” he added.

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