THERE are now ‘record’ confidence levels among small firms, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
According to the group’s Small Business Index – the FSB’s measure of confidence - it is the first time the sentiment has reached this level with retailers among the sectors recording a positive outlook for the upcoming three months.
Three fifths of the small businesses surveyed are expecting to grow in the next 12 months.
One in 10 expects to grow rapidly. These results make it the seventh consecutive quarter that small businesses have been positive about their outlook, with the south east remaining the most confident region overall.
Small firms have also reported good news on turnover, profits and job creation.
The FSB says it wants political parties to spell out how they will continue to support the small business community in driving the economic recovery.
Small firms want to see measures which will bring the costs of doing business down, it says.
Neil Eames, development manager for the FSB Wessex region, which includes Portsmouth, said: ‘We’re seeing record-breaking confidence from our members which suggests small firms will continue to spearhead the UK’s recovery.
‘We want policy makers to lock in this optimism and continue to back the self employed and small businesses.
‘We are looking to all the political parties to spell out what they will do to encourage job creation, investment and reward entrepreneurs in the next parliament.’