The quarterly tracking study by Hitachi Capital Business Finance examined the percentage of small businesses that actually predict growth in the next three months.
It found that the proportion of UK small businesses predicting growth had almost doubled in just three months – from 14% to 27% – giving one of the first tangible indications that the Government’s easing of lockdown is having a “positive impact on a key area of the UK economy”.
Following last quarter’s report, which saw the percentage of small business owners predicting growth plummeting from 39% to just 14%, the new findings show the highest quarter-on-quarter rise in five years.
Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, said: “The latest Hitachi Capital research findings are remarkable for both the scale and the speed of the revival in small business confidence.
“We knew last quarter that small business confidence would fall as lockdown started and the scale of the fall was a concern, particularly the steep rise in the number of business owners fearing for their survival.”
He added: “Our new research – just in – shows what an immediate and positive impact the easing of lockdown has had on the small business community.
“Whilst bigger businesses are having to adjust and adapt at a slower pace, small business confidence across the UK has bounced back and as the engine room of the British economy, today’s figures can give us confidence that small businesses will lead the nation’s effort to rebuild the economy and secure growth.”