The latest Owner Managed Business Barometer (OMB) from Bank of Cyprus UK swung to a positive figure (0.09) for the first time following four consecutive negative scores since it was launched in April 2013. This comes as the UK’s smallest businesses reveal that they are increasingly optimistic about their prospects in 2014.
The research found that half of OMBs (50%) expect to see their sales and revenue increase over the next three months. Businesses are even more positive about their longer term sales growth, with three fifths (60%) expecting to see a rise in their revenues over the next 12 months. This is a substantial improvement from April 2013 where responses were 32% and 43% respectively.
The increased optimism appears to have also led to greater financial confidence, with the majority of businesses (66%) stating that they are satisfied that their current borrowing commitments are sufficient to meet their operational and investment requirements.
Furthermore, almost two fifths (39%) of businesses questioned said that they would be confident that their bank would agree to a request for new/increased lending facilities if they asked for it, this compares to just over a quarter (27%) of respondents in April 2013. Encouragingly, just 8% of businesses felt they did not have enough cash to meet their needs over the next 12 months.
Tony Leahy at Bank of Cyprus UK commented: “For the first time since we started the OMB Barometer research in April 2013, our research reveals that owner managed businesses have an overall positive outlook about their business prospects as we approach the final quarter of 2014. It is especially encouraging to see that most businesses feel that their current borrowing commitments are at the right level for growth and that so many are confident that if they needed to, they would be able to access additional financing.
“The research also reveals that while many are in strong positions; some businesses still need a bit more of a helping hand. At Bank of Cyprus UK our focus has always been on the small and owner-managed section of the SME market. We continue to support this sector of the market in overcoming any challenges they may face, providing them with the tools and advice they need to help their business grow”.
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