According to a bi-annual survey of small businesses, almost half of the business owners who started their new venture in the last two years are looking to expand their business operations this year.
The Pulse survey measures confidence in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and found that not only did 48 per cent want to scale up business activity in 2013 but 65 per cent of them expect average to strong sales in the first half of the year, compared with just 32 per cent in 2012.
The most optimistic tranche are firms with between 11 and 25 employees, with just under three-quarters of those surveyed expecting average to strong sales this year.
The general air of optimism has translated into ambition and 80 per cent of those surveyed are keen to boost revenues and almost half have set themselves more ambitious business plans for the year.
The business owners surveyed were also focussed on the wider economic landscape and political measures aimed at helping them, with 60 per cent believing that improvement in policies and measures to help firms, such as relief on business rates, were important in influencing their business confidence.
In fact, 65 per cent of firms with 26-100 employees reported that lending schemes targeted at SMEs are the most important factor in influencing business confidence, while over 40 per cent believe that economic statistics, such as the 1 per cent growth in GDP reported last October, can have a measurable financial impact on business performance.
With the right support and action from the Government, most small business owners appear to believe that they can do well this year, which is a great sign for the economy as a whole, as SMEs lie at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery.