More small firms ready to hire

An increasing number of businesses want to create jobs in the coming months amid signs of continued economic growth, according to a report.

The Federation of Small Businesses says more firms are aiming to create jobs in the coming months
The Federation of Small Businesses says more firms are aiming to create jobs in the coming months

A survey of almost 3,000 firms by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) showed one in seven optimistic about hiring staff, with one in 10 having recruited employees in the past quarter.

Above average recruitment levels were found in the West Midlands and East of England.

Credit conditions were found to be easing, with an increasing number of businesses accessing finance.

John Allan, chairman of the FSB, said: "Once again we see confidence on the up, and small firms leading the way in job creation. There is no doubt small businesses are pushing us further towards economic prosperity and it's so important to retain this momentum.

"I believe small firms can do more too, for instance helping long-term unemployed youngsters back to work and, as the economy continues to improve, boosting wages for the low-paid.

"With more businesses planning to invest, this can only be good news for the economy and the Chancellor needs to build on this in the Budget."

A Department for Business, Innovation & Skills spokesman said: "We know most small businesses want to grow, and that is why last December we set out our commitment in 'Small Business: GREAT Ambition' to champion small businesses.

"We have already made employment processes simpler and from next month small businesses will also see their National Insurance Bill cut by up to £2,000. Small businesses make up 99% of the whole private sector, and employ 14 million people - they are absolutely vital for a resilient and sustainable economy."