Almost half of small companies are now running at full steam

A LARGE proportion of small firms are now running at or above capacity, as the climate for business growth in the UK continues to improve.

A report released by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) today shows that 32.2 per cent of small enterprises say they are running at full capacity, and 10.3 per cent say they are above full capacity. Both figures are the highest since the survey began three years ago.

More firms reported a rising than falling profit in the current quarter, for the first time since the FSB began surveying profitability in 2012. The number of companies reporting rising revenues also rose for the third quarter in a row.

The poll also found positive intentions for capital spending in the future: nearly a quarter of firms expect to raise investment levels in the year ahead.

“Small firms are creating more jobs and investing in their business and there are encouraging results behind the headline figures, with promising trends evident across the main areas of expansion, investment and employment,” said John Allan, national chairman of the FSB.

According to the group’s most recent survey, confidence among small businesses has risen by 27.2 points since the same period last year, when the net balance of positive firms was only -5.6, before positive news on economic growth in the second and third quarters this year was revealed.