Two thirds of small firms expect to grow this year

The survey of almost 3,000 small firms found that 11 per cent have taken on more staff in the previous quarter and 15 per cent plan to in the next.

FSB boss John Allan said: ?Once again we see confidence on the up ? and small firms leading the way in job creation. There is no doubt small businesses are pushing us further towards economic prosperity and it?s so important to retain this momentum.?

Confidence amongst small businesses rose to 35.7, the highest on record. The researcj also found that 25 per cent expect to see an increase in export activity in the coming quarter.

Allan added: ?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.?

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