Despite spiralling costs, small firms in the North West are feeling more confident and planning to take on or maintain staff, with international trade playing a major role, according to the latest FSB Small Business Index (SBI).
The recovery has been spurred by increased international trade. More than two thirds (69%) of exporters surveyed in the region state that international sales have been steady or increased in Q1. The vast majority (85%) expect this trend to continue over the coming three months.
The recovery in confidence comes despite a surge in the cost of doing business. Seven out of ten (70%) small firms across the North West report a rise in operating costs over the past quarter.
Commenting on the growing importance of export for small firms, Phil McCabe, Development Manager for FSB Merseyside, West Cheshire and Wigan, said:
“The International Business Festival returns to Liverpool in 2018 for the third time and will again be a fantastic opportunity for businesses to forge links with these overseas markets and explore exporting as a major route to growth.”