Scottish small businesses have started 2013 ‘more confident’

Research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has suggested that confidence rose in the first quarter of 2013.

The survey also showed more businesses had plans to invest this year, despite figures showing confidence was “significantly lower” than the same quarter last year with nearly a fifth of small businesses said they had capital investment plans for 2013.

However, the survey also showed fewer firms were applying to external financiers – with just 19 per cent approaching their bank for finance in the last quarter.

The data, gathered before the Budget, also showed that a majority of Scottish businesses were operating below capacity.

FSB Scottish policy convener Andy Willox said: “Confidence is key to recovery and I am heartened to see that more small firms are planning to invest.

“That means more orders placed, more business being done and fewer suppliers looking nervously at empty order books and trimming staff costs.

“I hope more large businesses now follow our lead and start investing the significant sums on which they are sitting.

“However, businesses’ investment and growth intentions are being undermined by spiralling energy and fuel bills,” he added.