The latest survey results from the Federation of Small businesses reveal record confidence levels among UK small businesses, but the growth of this confidence continues to depend on pro-enterprise policies. The FSB wants political parties to spell out how they will continue to support the small business community in driving the economic recovery as we head into party conference season.
The Small Business Index – the FSB’s measure of confidence – reached +41 points in the third quarter. It is the first time the sentiment has reached this level with every sector recording a positive outlook for the upcoming three months.
The positive outlook came from an expectation of growth. Three fifths of the small businesses surveyed are expecting to grow in the next 12 months. One in 10 expects to grow rapidly. These results make it the seventh consecutive quarter that small businesses reflected positively on their position, reporting good news on turnover, profits and job creation.
The FSB underlined that this buoyant confidence seen in small businesses 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 by political parties, who must spell out their commitment to supporting the small business community.
“We’re seeing record breaking confidence from our members which suggests small firms will continue to spearhead the UK’s recovery” said FSB National Chairman John Allan. “We want policy makers to lock in this optimism and continue to back the self-employed and small businesses. As we head in to party conference season, we’ll be looking to all the political parties to spell out what they will do to encourage job creation, investment and reward entrepreneurs in the next Parliament.”