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SME optimism (at last!)

Recently published research confirms our own experiences that more than half of SMEs are predicting strong growth in the first half of 2014. Businesses have a more positive outlook for the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2012 - more than half (52%) predict strong or improved growth for their businesses during the first six months of this year, a three-fold increase on 2012 (19%) figures. A separate report has revealed that three-quarters of small businesses feel more confident about the outlook for 2014 than 2013; however, only 21% plan to look for external finance this year as part of a growth strategy. This is consistent with the continuing concern that bank funding to SME's will continue to lag behind expectations.