"Financing projects from £50,000 to £100 million"

Surge in small business confidence in 2014

Surge in small business confidence in 2014

Small businesses are approaching 2014 with far more optimism than recent years, according to insurer Aviva.

The firm’s bi-annual ‘SME Pulse’ has shown that over half of small firms (52%) have entered the New Year with confidence that they can achieve strong growth in the first half of the year.

This compares to less than one in five (19%) who predicted strong growth for the same period in 2012.

The findings also showed more affirming statistics for entrepreneurs and small business owners. When interviewed in December 2013, 8% of small business owners said they were lacking in enthusiasm for their businesses – only a quarter of the number lacking motivation two years ago.

Part of the key to success was the willingness of firms to diversify, Aviva said. The number of firms that have diversified in an attempt to keep their business profitable has increased by 50% over the last two years, with many rewarded for their efforts.

Robert Ledger, head of small business at Aviva, said higher confidence levels spelled positive news for the UK’s economic prospects.

"The increased optimism we are seeing is great news for the economy with more than half of the SMEs surveyed telling us they predict strong or improved growth in 2014," he said.

"It is also a promising indicator of a return to business confidence to have so many businesses say they still really enjoy what they do.

"Qualities like passion and commitment to run their own business, especially when trading is tough, really shows the strength that SMEs have, and need, to survive."

When asked what could help to improve growth, a third of firms said that the Government should cut red tape for tax and accounting issues, while 30% sought a reduction in the VAT level. Around a quarter (24%) said the Government needed to do more to encourage lending from banks.

"It is too early to say whether the two year Government plan to help SMEs bid for government contracts will help smaller businesses as well as larger ones," Mr Ledger added.

"Certainly initiatives like the Great Business website and making public sector contracts more accessible are steps in the right direction. It will be interesting to see how this plan develops over the next year."
Thursday, 30 January 2014 12:55
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