With 61 per cent of small businesses surveyed are expecting to grow in the next 12 months and 11 per cent preparing for rapid growth, it is the seventh consecutive quarter that small businesses have been positive about their outlook. And one third predict that their turnover will grow in the next quarter, while 17 per cent expect profits to rise. The most confident sector remains financial services, while most improvement was witnessed in health and social work, and in the hospitality industry. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) suggests that this buoyant confidence depends on pro-enterprise policies that will enable small businesses to grow, create jobs and pay their staff more. The latest results show that barriers to these growth aspirations do still exist. Weak consumer demand, the domestic economy and growing skills shortages especially in growth sectors such as IT are key issues that must be addressed. John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We’re seeing record breaking confidence, which suggests small firms will continue to spearhead the UK’s recovery. We want policy makers to lock in this optimism and continue to back the self employed and small businesses.” By Shané Schutte
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