Nearly half of SMEs ‘now more enthusiastic’

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Nearly half of small and medium-sized businesses in the North West are more enthusiastic about running their businesses in 2014.

New research from insurers Aviva reveals that whilst many SMEs are entering 2014 with renewed optimism and enthusiasm for running their business, they also recognise the need to take extra steps to keep their business healthy in the first six months of 2014.

According to the insurer’s bi-annual SME Pulse, which surveys 500 SMEs, businesses in the North West have a more positive outlook for the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2012.

Nearly half of those surveyed predict strong or improved growth for their businesses during the first six month of this year, compared to 18 per cent in the same period in 2012.

Robert Ledger, head of small business at Aviva, said: “The increased optimism we are seeing is great news for the economy with nearly half of the SMEs surveyed in the North West telling us they predict strong or improved growth in 2014. It is also a promising indicator of a return to business confidence to have so many businesses say they still really enjoy what they do. Qualities like passion and commitment to run their own business, especially when trading is tough, really shows the strength that SMEs have, and need, to survive.”

Fifty eight per cent of survey respondents in the North West say trading conditions in 2013 have been largely as they expected (compared to 42 per cent in 2012) and 32 per cent say conditions have been tougher than they initially expected.

Reflecting the recent positive economic forecasts, Aviva’s findings highlight higher levels of enthusiasm and satisfaction in the region.