Big businesses may be contemplating moving headquarters overseas, but small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are planning with confidence, with market outlook up by a third in three months, according to new research.
In a survey of over 1,000 SMEs, Hitachi Capital Business Finance asked 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, 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, according to the research.
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).
When looking at small business confidence over the last two years, despite 2016 being an eventful year when it comes to economic highs and lows, SMEs in the UK have been flexible and have adapted quickly giving an overall positive impression for the remainder of the year.
In September, UK business confidence had fallen into negative territory for the first time in four years, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Business owners feeling confident are outnumbered by those that feel the opposite by the last three quarters in a row. The FSB’s Q3 Small Business Index found business confidence to be -2.9, the second largest year-on-year fall in confidence in the Index’s history
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.”