Small businesses start to see upturn in confidence

CONFIDENCE is on the up among small businesses which have borne the brunt of the economic turmoil over the past year or so, according to a leading industry body.<br /><br />The Federation of Small Businesses said yesterday that 23 per cent of its members had experienced an increase in trade recently. Only a quarter of SMEs questioned in the organisation&rsquo;s latest poll cited the cost of finance as a problem, compared to 40 per cent at the end of last year.<br /><br />Over half of respondents (57 per cent) said they were &ldquo;quite confident&rdquo; about the future, while 68 per cent plan to grow over the next six months.<br /><br />&ldquo;Although we are certainly not out of the woods yet, many small firms are seeing increased footfall and finding it easier to obtain crucial finance than in the winter months, when things were at their worst so far,&rdquo; said John Wright, the national chairman of the FSB.