Scotland's small businesses are feeling increasingly confident about the next 12 months despite fears over rising costs.
That is the suggestion of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which found that firms were feeling more optimistic in the final quarter of last year than they were in either 2011 or 2012.
And this comes despite rising costs and weaker trading, leaving Scottish business investment intentions falling behind the rest of the UK, the BBC reports.
Andy Willox, of the FSB, told the news provider that firm action is needed on fuel and utility costs to help small businesses.
"For our part, these figures suggest that more firms want to generate more business by investing," he explained.
"This is encouraging, as investment spending gets money moving round the economy, fills order books, builds confidence and therefore drives growth."
It comes after the British Chambers of Commerce said that the availability of credit is still a problem for small firms.
Posted by Emily Smith