By Claire West

Whilst the optimism levels of some of Britain’s largest businesses have dramatically dropped following reports that we are facing a double dip recession, small businesses are vowing not to let it beat them. Make It Cheaper’s bi-annual Business Confidence Survey reveals that small business confidence has increased over the past six months, with 76% of small businesses describing their current outlook as either stabilising or brighter compared with just 58% six months ago.

Jonathan Elliott, managing director, Make It Cheaper, said: “It’s refreshing to know that small business confidence is returning in such a big way despite the recent warnings of public spending cuts and job losses ahead of this week’s spending review. There is a clear can-do attitude from those that have already adapted to survive and are running much leaner and more efficient businesses than before.”

The research shows that:

•18% of bosses believe that business outlook for the current financial year is the brightest it has been in five years; up from just 9% in April 2010

•58% believe that their business is stabilising after a hard couple of years up from 29%

•Just 24% see the outlook as depressing with no sign of pick up compared with 42% six months ago
John Slater, owner of Lodge Holidays (www.lodgeholidays.co.uk), a small business in South Wales selling holiday cottages on an eco-friendly farm, commented: “Things have definitely improved over the past year — the summer season was a real success for us and we are fully booked for Christmas already. I would say that the uncertain economic climate coupled with ash clouds and airline strikes has certainly influenced more people to stay in the UK and spend their pounds with British businesses like ours.”

The research was conducted with Make It Cheaper’s customer base with 1000 businesses surveyed. Make It Cheaper receives 2,000 utility price comparison enquiries each week and helps 50,000 businesses a year to switch.