Confidence rises for small firms

Confidence among the small business community continues to improve according to a new survey, with 80% of respondents saying they will invest in their company over the next two years.

In response to the second quarter business sentiment survey from the Small Firms Association (SFA), six out of 10 firms said their business would be moving back to a growth phase within the next 12 months, with most of the companies focused on international markets.

In terms of investment, the main areas for spending are brand development, staff development, and IT.

According to SFA director Avine McNally, many firms are investing with the expectation of new orders, increased opportunities, and economic recovery.

However, she suggested a continually weak domestic economy, high business costs, low consumer spending levels, and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the eurozone economy remain “huge challenges”.

Only 4% of respondents to the latest survey said their business is currently in decline; but just 24% rated the current environment as good or very good. Still, 41% of SMEs currently rate their individual company as being in a positive state — a 1% improvement on the preceding quarter.

Just over 30% said their business was maintaining its current level, meanwhile.


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