Last year represented another tough 12 months for small businesses, but there are signs for cautious optimism at the start of the new year.
That is the verdict of John Walker, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), who this morning (January 2nd) delivered his new year message.
While he believes there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure the introduction of Real Time Information this year, Mr Walker welcomed government plans to cut regulatory red tape.
He added: "The new business bank must improve competition in the sector and promote alternative sources of finance - especially for businesses to invest, grow and diversify.
"If past recessions have taught us anything, it is that demand for finance is at its highest as the recovery begins."
Meanwhile, research from the Co-Operative Bank, published last week, revealed that small firms are feeling confident of growth heading into 2013, with 44 per cent adding that they believe sales and orders will rise over the next 12 months.
Posted by Thomas Fletcher