THE outlook for small businesses this year was increasingly optimistic according to a leading group.
The Federation of Small Businesses Wessex, which has hundreds of members on the Isle of Wight, said research had shown businesses wanted to expand and were finding it a little easier to obtain finance.
The FSB said the number of firms refused credit applications was the joint lowest since the start of 2012 and those who were accepted for finance reported cheaper interest rates — thanks to the government’s Funding for Lending scheme. Neil Eames, development manager for the FSB Wessex Region, said: "Confidence has been in positive territory for a full year, giving economic growth solid foundations moving into 2014.
"Small firms are creating more jobs and investing in their business and there are encouraging results behind the headline figures, with promising trends evident across the main areas of expansion, investment and employment."
He said, however, that sustained recovery was a way off.