Close Brothers survey reveals optmiism among East Anglia’s SMEs

Mike Randall, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Finance.

Mike Randall, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Finance. - Credit: Archant

Nearly two out of five small and medium sized firms in East Anglia say trading conditions are improving, with nearly half planning to invest in their business during 2015, according to a new survey.

The latest Close Brothers Business Barometer report also reveals that a fifth of businesses in the region believe their business will expand this year.

Mike Randall, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Finance, said: “The UK economy has turned a corner, with the European Commission telling us that it is expected to grow by 2.4% over the course of this year.

“This is of course good news for businesses of all sizes, but particularly for smaller firms that have arguably struggled more than most to thrive over the past five years.

“Our survey results suggest that almost half of SMEs in East Anglia are now feeling confident to make strategic decisions about growth.”


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The survey, which canvasses the views of SME owners and senior management from a range of industry sectors, also found that more than two fifths of local businesses are planning a recruitment drive this year, with just one in 50 stating that they will reduce headcount.

More than a third of business owners polled said that they are actively seeking funding to support growth.

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“The challenge now is to ensure that these ambitious small businesses can access the finance they need to achieve their growth and job creation targets,” added Mr Randall.

“One of the biggest barriers to growth is accessing appropriate funding. It is essential that businesses are able to access the right type of finance at the right time for them and they can only do this if awareness of the full spectrum of financial options continues to rise.”

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