Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are expecting a sales boost this year, despite cost of living pressures on consumers according to new research.
In the survey of 1,000 small business owners, 49 per cent also said their financial situation improved compared to the same period in 2022.
Optimism follows what has been a troublesome year for many small businesses. 66 per cent said rising costs were their biggest challenge during the year, and 55 per cent expressed concerns about high energy prices.
As a result, 52 per cent — over half — of SMEs said they have had to increase prices to combat rising costs.
Despite the economic headwinds, small businesses have vowed to protect their employees, with only four per cent having had to cut staff to maintain operations.
Consumers have also proved more resilient than expected.
Some 11m Britons flocked to the high streets — spending a collective £669m — in support of Small Business Saturday last week.
Luke Beavon, SumUp UK chief executive, said: “As the backbone of our economy, it is heartening to see that nearly half of UK SMEs are reporting improved financial situations compared to last year.
“As we face the approaching challenges of the new year, this data highlights the remarkable resilience of SMEs in the UK.”
He added: “SumUp is unwavering in its commitment to supporting SMEs in navigating uncertainties, fostering an environment where they not only survive, but thrive.”