2015 will be a “pivotal year” for small businesses.
This is according to John Allan, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, who used his New Year Message to sound a note of optimism.
Allan said: “Small firms still face many issues, not least the scandal of late payment and supply chain bullying we highlighted in December, but it seems like there has never been such a strong opportunity to make a positive impact on the outlook of small firms.”
The FSB chairman cited the growth in UK small businesses, pointing out that the number of small firms has for the first time “broken the five million mark.” Allan said that small businesses “have been disproportionately responsible for creating new jobs” as unemployment has fallen. Meanwhile the FSB’s latest Small Business Index recorded small business productivity “in positive territory in 2014 for the first time since 2010”.
But the message also warned of the difficulties facing small businesses. Allan said: “Business confidence, although still firmly positive, is down from an all time high earlier in 2014. The money owed to businesses in late payment has grown from £18.6 billion in 2008 to £46.1 billion today. It also seems regional balances remain engrained, while even more gloomy predictions emerge from the Eurozone.”
Late last year, Simply Business conducted its own research into the landscape and outlook for sole traders and microbusinesses. Read the Simply Britain report.