The financial services group has released the findings of its Business Barometer, revealing that 1.35 million small businesses are expected to expand next year, with over half of all SMEs expected to stay the same size.
Hopeful of the future
Released every quarter, the barometer uncovers the opinions of UK small business owners and senior management professionals. The survey found that 20 per cent of SMEs believe that their business is faring well, despite the troubling economy. When describing their economic outlook, 54 per cent of SMEs show confidence towards the recovery of the economy.
“With the UK economy continuing to strengthen, it is encouraging to see that a significant number of business leaders in small and medium sized enterprises are expecting to see their business expand throughout 2016,” said Mike Randall, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance.
The results also found that:
- nearly a third (29 per cent) of SMEs in the UK are planning to seek funding for business investment in the next 12 months.
- Nearly a third (30 per cent) of the businesses above hope to borrow up to £100,000 and a further fifth (18 per cent) are planning to apply for funding of more than £100,000.
- More than one in ten (13%) of SMEs have missed a business opportunity in the last 12 months, due to lack of available finance, with just under half (48%) of these SMEs missing multiple opportunities.
Randall added: “Our study clearly shows that investment will be key to a lot of companies in 2016, and we know from our experience in the market that many of these will be using the funding to grow their businesses.
“With this is mind, it is vital businesses understand what assets or finance are required at all times. This is to ensure no business opportunities are missed and that they successfully manage the future needs of the business. We would urge any business owners planning to apply for investment in the New Year to ensure that they regularly assess their plans and evaluate all of the financial options available.”