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Whitehill Business Services Ltd >> news >> latest news >> Small Businesses Predict Expansion in 2015

Small Businesses Predict Expansion in 2015

Posted by on December 26, 2014

While organisations have been less confident in previous quarters, they still expect to expand their staff numbers, increase exports and grow their business within the first quarter of 2015 (according to a study by the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses). This news follows similarly positive reports last week that revealed the growth ambition of the UK’s small businesses.


Research suggests that smaller firms’ productivity grew year-on-year in the last half of 2014, rising by 1.1% towards the fourth quarter. It has been said that this is an encouraging sign for both the economy as a whole and employees in particular as wage growth is typically linked to productivity levels.

 

The Federation of Small Businesses’ national chairman, John Allan, says:


“All the signs show that as we head into the New Year small businesses are expecting to grow and take on new staff. But to achieve these positive ambitions, small firms will require certainty in the domestic economy including interest rates. “


Continued support from the government with schemes such as ‘Funding for Lending’ is vital. With nearly a quarter of businesses (22%) reporting the cost of finance as a direct barrier to growth; compared to just 10% one year ago.
Allan continued, “There are signs that more support could be needed. The perception of increasing cost of finance, further warnings of a downturn on the continent demonstrate that ministers need to continue to do all they can in order to support small firms.


Building on extensions to schemes such as Funding for Lending, the Employment Allowance and recently improved business support programmes are crucial to this.”


16% (nearly a fifth) of small firms hired more staff in the final quarter of 2014 while only one in 11% (one in ten) reduced numbers. Confidence is greatest in the IT sector, while it rises fastest in health and social work and transport sectors.

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Tony Walsh, Co-Head of UK, Barclays, says that businesses of all sizes are growing in confidence. "The average person has more money in his pocket and that is benefitting businesses of all sizes. Construction is booming, manufacturing is growing very swiftly and the leisure industry is now picking up."