Scottish SMEs 'more confident' in 2013

28th March 2013 | News

Small businesses north of the border have begun the new year in more confident mood, according to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Although the level of confidence among Scotland’s SMEs is still lagging behind the UK average, the FSB’s recent research indicates confidence rose in the opening quarter of 2013.
The survey showed more businesses had plans to invest in 2013, despite figures showing confidence was ‘significantly lower’ than the same quarter last year.
A total of 16 per cent of Scottish-based businesses said they planned capital investment in the coming months.
However, the report suggests that fewer firms were applying to external financiers, with less than a fifth (19 per cent) approaching their banks for finance in the last quarter.
The data, which was retrieved prior to Chancellor, George Osborne’s Budget 2013 statement, also showed that the vast majority of Scottish businesses (61 per cent) were currently operating below capacity.
Andy Wilcox, Scottish policy convener for the FSB, said: "Confidence is key to recovery and I am heartened to see that more small firms are planning to invest.
"That means more orders placed, more business being done and fewer suppliers looking nervously at empty order books and trimming staff costs.
"I hope more large businesses now follow our lead and start investing the significant sums on which they are sitting.
"However, businesses’ investment and growth intentions are being undermined by spiralling energy and fuel bills."
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