Steve Gee, managing director for the industrial equipment division at Close Brothers Asset Finance.

Optimism builds in the construction sector

Published:  03 March, 2015

More than half of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK construction sector say that trading conditions are improving, with 52% saying that they will invest in their business during 2015.

Results of the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer also reveals that almost a third (30%) of construction firms believe they will expand over the course of this year.

Steve Gee, managing director for the industrial equipment division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, said: “The UK economy has turned a corner, with the European Commission telling us that it is expected to grow by 2.4% over the course of this year.

This is of course good news for businesses of all sizes, but particularly for smaller firms that have arguably struggled more than most to thrive over the past five years. Our survey results suggest that over half of construction firms are now feeling confident to make strategic decisions about growth.”

The survey, which canvasses the views of SME owners and senior management from a range of industry sectors, also shows that half of businesses are planning a recruitment drive this year, with just 1% stating that they will reduce headcount.

Four in 10 construction SMEs polled said that they are actively seeking funding to support growth.

Mr Gee added: “The challenge now is to ensure that these ambitious small businesses can access the finance they need to achieve their growth and job creation targets. One of the biggest barriers to growth is accessing appropriate funding. It is essential that businesses are able to access the right type of finance at the right time for them and they can only do this if awareness of the full spectrum of financial options continues to rise.

“As an asset finance provider, we are glad to see a growing recognition from both the government and the business community for the role alternative finance is playing in supporting business growth.”

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