Small Business Confidence Higher In Scotland Than In England And Wales

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23rd June 2014 14:55 - Business Support

Results from the Federation of Small Business’ (FSB) Voice of Small Business Index have shown that firms in Scotland demonstrated higher levels of confidence than those in England and Wales in the second quarter of 2014.

Scotland’s small business confidence rose eight points in the latest quarter to reach +44. Across the whole of the UK, the index rose from +35.7 to +39.7. This time last year the index was just +9.

In addition, recruitment intentions are the highest they’ve been since the research began, with spare capacity beginning to fade away.

A reported one in five small businesses plan to increase their capital investment in the next 12 months which is expected to further aid recovery.

Of the firms surveyed, just 13% thought the availability of credit was good, with less than one quarter (23%) believing credit is affordable.

UK mid-market companies have followed a similar upward trend too, growing faster than their counterparts in Germany, France and Italy.

In the next 12 months UK mid-market companies are forecast to grow a further 6.1%, which will bring in an additional £133billion in revenue. This sector’s growth is expected to result in an estimated 326,000 new jobs – twice as many as in Germany.

However, medium-sized companies are said to be hindered by the UK’s tax system with it causing disruption to their cashflow, absorbing management time and dampening export ambitions.

John Cridland, director-general at the Confederation of British Industry, said: “The [UK] government must urgently review rules around research and development investment, and international tax requirements, and take steps to stop medium-sized firms from being treated like large companies when it comes to corporate tax payment.”

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