SMEs are starting to show signs of recovery from the recession but are not
out of the woods just yet, according to the
of Small Businesses (FSB).
In a comparison of data collected by the FSB over the past 10 months, the industry body has suggested the economic position of SMEs is starting to improve from a low point at the end of last year.
According to the findings, an increasing number of SMEs are experiencing a boost in trade, with 23 per cent of FSB members reporting a rise compared with 16 per cent in February.
By the end of last year, up to 40 per cent of SMEs had highlighted finance as a major problem, but the latest poll by the FSB found only 25 per cent felt the cost of finance was a concern, indicating that small firms are experiencing a gradual easing.
FSB national chairman John Wright said: “Small businesses are naturally flexible and innovative in recessions and these figures show that despite the very many negative forces on them, they are being cautiously optimistic and are looking to expand. Although we are certainly not out of the woods yet, many small firms are seeing increased footfall and finding it easier to obtain crucial finance in the winter months, when things were at their worst so far.
“The government must look to small businesses to build the post recession economy and help them employ more people and ease the bureaucracy and tax burdens which many still face.”
The FSB’s poll also found that 68 per cent of business owners are looking to grow in the next six months, with plans for new product investment, more staff and marketing activities.
Over half of respondents (57 per cent) stated they were "quite confident" about the future of their business.
In light of the poll’s outcome, the FSB is urging the government to consider SMEs as a means to tackle unemployment by supporting apprenticeships, short-time working subsidies and increasing the thresholds before income tax and national insurance contributions are payable.
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