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10 March 2014

UK small businesses continue to show a sustained recovery says FSB

Reference number: PR 2014 13

FSB News Release
PR 2014 13
Embargoed to, 00:01am Monday 10 March 2014
UK small businesses continue to show a sustained recovery says FSB
The latest Federation of Small Businesses'' (FSB) Small Business Index shows an increasing number of businesses want to create jobs in the next three months. This marks the third consecutive quarter of job creation in small firms and provides yet more signs that confidence is returning and that momentum behind economic growth is being maintained. 
The survey of almost 3,000 businesses shows 15 per cent wish to take on more people in the coming quarter and 11 per cent have increased staff in the previous three months. In each of the English regions firms responding have created jobs, with an above average increases in the West Midlands and east of England with 14 per cent.
In addition the report shows a marked improvement in the number of businesses accessing finance, with more firms approved for applications. While the environment remains challenging, this is a welcome sign that credit conditions are easing for small firms.  However the survey reveals that the perception persists among businesses that credit availability and affordability is poor, meaning more needs to be done to restore confidence in the banks.  
With just days to go before the Chancellor delivers his Budget the FSB has urged him to build on this confidence.  His announcement should focus on enterprise, completing reforms in key markets notably banking and energy and putting in place a supportive tax environment that encourages small firms to invest, create jobs and grow. 
Other key findings show: 
• Confidence rose to 35.7, breaking the record score of 33.5 in Q3 2013
• Almost two thirds of small firms expect to grow in the next 12 months, and one in four plan to increase the amount they invest in their business
• 25 per cent of firms expect to see an increase in export activity in the coming three months and 10 per cent report growth since Q4 2013
• More firms expect to see increases to profitability and turnover in the coming three months
John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: 
"Once again we see confidence on the up – and small firms leading the way in job creation.  There is no doubt small businesses are pushing us further towards economic prosperity and it''s so important to retain this momentum. That more than half of firms want to grow is a sign to the Chancellor to keep the focus on business. 
"I believe small firms can do more too – for instance helping long term unemployed youngsters back to work and as the economy continues to improve, boosting wages for the low-paid. With more businesses planning to invest, this can only be good news for the economy and the Chancellor needs to build on this in the Budget."
Notes to Editors: 
1. The FSB is the UK''s leading business organisation with around 200,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the UK''s Real-Life Entrepreneurs who run their own business. More information is available at 
2. The FSB ‘Voice of Small Business'' Index is a quarterly macro-economic report analysing the trends of small businesses in the UK market. To view the ‘FSB Voice of Small Business'' Index please go to  
3. This report has been produced by the centre for economic and business research (cebr) for the FSB. The figures are based on a survey of FSB members, carried out by Research by Design, between 28 January and 6 February 2014 and received 2,814 responses. To find out more visit 
4. FSB spokespeople will be available for interview on Monday 10 March in London. The FSB has its own ISDN line. 
5. The Q2 2014 ‘Voice of Small Business'' Index will be issued on Friday 20 June embargoed to 00:01am Monday 23 June 2014. 
Media contacts
Liesl Smith: 020 7592 8128 / 07917 628926 
Sara Crane: 020 7592 8113 / 07595 067068
James Gribben: 020 7592 8121 / 07854 987974 
Lucy Bell-Reeves: 020 7592 8116 / 07595 801773 
For regional FSB contacts please go to