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Small businesses are optimistic about 2014

A new study has revealed that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are optimistic about the coming 12 months, with recent figures suggesting that the economy is on the rise.

Some 69 per cent of business owners are of the view that the economy will not decline in 2014, the study conducted by Bibby Financial Services said.

The survey canvassed the opinions of 1,000 businesses in the UK and found that 58 per cent expect to at least see steady growth in the coming 12 months.

A fifth, meanwhile, predicted that the growth seen in 2014 would be superior to that of the year before.

What’s more, the research revealed that just 29 per cent of SMEs prepared a business plan in 2013, as compared to 59 per cent in 2014 who said that if they hadn’t already, then they intend to do so.

Reflecting on the figures, Andy Tait, sales and marketing director at Bibby Financial Services, commented: “It is encouraging to see that the current positivity about the health of the UK economy is translating into optimism for the country’s small and medium-sized firms – and in turn that they are ensuring they are fit for 2014 by preparing business plans.

“At the same time, it is important to remember that the recovery is likely to be gradual so it’s vital that businesses put these plans into action.”

Furthermore, the report confirmed that many business owners in the UK are currently weighing up the prospect of expanding their operation, which is, perhaps, a reflection of the improving economic climate.

Some 39 per cent of SMEs are looking to invest in their business next year, for instance. And 44 per cent of these said that they plan to use an existing or new arrangement to fund the arrangement.