Small firms are now optimistic about growth prospects

Small firms are becoming increasingly optimistic about prospects for 2014, according to the Federation of Small Businesses.

The federation’s latest Small Business Index shows confidence is increasing, small firms are keen to grow their businesses and they are also finding it easier to get finance.

Federation regional chairman and Sheffield businessman, Gordon Millward, 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.

“Government must not be complacent – helpful initiatives were announced in the Autumn Statement, particularly on business rates. This, alongside the refocusing of Funding for Lending should continue to keep small firms in the spotlight. However a sustained recovery is perhaps some way off.”

Manufacturers seeking to win contracts for new nuclear power stations are being offered a helping hand by South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

The AMRC has been chosen by the National Skills Academy for Nuclear Manufacturing to host a trio of courses to help companies understand the extra requirements involved in manufacturing for the sector.

Courses are designed to build an understanding of the nuclear industry, the quality standards that apply and standards of behaviour expected when working in the sector and will start at the AMRC in January.