SME confidence up by a third

Big businesses may be contemplating moving headquarters overseas but SMEs are planning with confidence, with market outlook up by a third in three months.

Hitachi Capital Business Finance asked 1,006 small and medium sized enterprise owners what best described the outlook for their company over the next three months and found an 11% increase in confidence from last quarter. Not only has confidence bounced back, it is at an all time high for 2016.

Small business confidence has peaked following a dip in uncertainty in recent months. Overall, 43% of the UK’s SMEs are feeling positive about the future when asked about their outlook, Hitachi Capital’s Business Barometer has found.

During the months of July to September there was some uncertainty as to the outlook for the future for the UKs SMEs. However, they sat tight and weathered the storm following the EU referendum. While bigger companies are talking about packing up and relocating across the continent, SMEs have played a waiting game and are feeling the most confident as to the outlook of their business than they have all year.

From the third quarter to the last three months of the year, there has been a big jump (9%) from SMEs saying that their organisation would stay the same to those saying that they expect to see significant or modest growth. Small businesses who are worried about their outlook during October to December matches the lowest it has been for 2016 as well as being lower than it has been in the last two years (14% Q4 2014 and 12% Q4 2015).

Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, said: “The research goes on to show just how resilient SMEs in the UK really are. We know that things have been uncertain and people are becoming more worried about the value of the pound and what this could mean for UK business. As the core of UK economy, it is encouraging to see that no matter what is thrown at them, small businesses are able to bounce back and turn a negative situation into a positive outcome.

“As a provider of alternative finance to small and medium sized enterprises, it is reassuring to have this positivity and to be able to see the bigger picture fully. As our customers grow we grow with them and welcome the news that SME confidence is on the up. Whatever the weather we will always be here to support them.”

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