SMEs in region predicting growth this year

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Two thirds of small and medium-sized businesses in the North West are expecting their businesses to grow over the next three months, according to the latest report from Bibby Financial Services.

The Business Factors Index, produced quarterly by the specialist business funder, surveyed more than 1,000 UK business owners and found that the attitude amongst SMEs in the region is positive following a successful first quarter.

The latest report shows that 46 per cent of SMEs in the North West saw sales increase during the first three months of the year, with 13 per cent reporting that sales had increased significantly.

A growing sense of optimism about the economy is also reflected in a rise in recruitment as almost a quarter (23 per cent) of SMEs in the North West have taken on new staff already this year, with 14 per cent saying they plan to take on more employees going forward.

Nick Kindon, MD for Bibby Financial Services in the North West, said: “The findings of our research for Q1 2014 reflect national SME performance according to our headline index data, which recorded the highest level of first quarter output among our 4,000 invoice finance clients since 2008.

“However, if SMEs in the North West are going to realise their growth ambitions, it is important that they have access to funding that supports the development of their business.”