Confident small firms to invest in year ahead

CLYDESDALE and Yorkshire Banks have found that almost all of the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) plan to invest in growing their business during the year ahead.

According to a poll released today, an increase in confidence means that 97 per cent of businesses intend to invest in growth, in a poll of 818 middle managers last month.

Over half, 57 per cent, referred to rising optimism as one of the reasons for the change in plans, and only one tenth now say that a lack of confidence is a barrier to investment.

According to the research, the average SME plans to invest 10 per cent of their turnover in increasing the size of their business.

While medium-sized businesses are more likely to be seeking new markets, 43 per cent of small businesses aspire to spend on recruiting employees, potentially putting some welcome downwards pressure on unemployment

Paul Shephard, director of business and private banking for the groups, said: “As the majority of UK companies are small and medium sized businesses, this has to be good for the economy as a whole.”