• The growth outlook for small firms in the transport and distribution sector has increased for four successive quarters, according to a report from Hitachi Capital.

    The number of companies in the sector predicting growth has jumped from 29% to 34% in the latest quarterly period, while the number predicting contraction has fallen to just 15%.  There has also been a significant reduction in the number of small firms who are struggling to survive, from 10% to 3%.

    “Last year small businesses had to adapt to a period of protracted Brexit uncertainty and the economic ripple it delivered to sectors across the UK,” Gavin Wraith-Carter of Hitachi Capital Business Finance said.

    “We start 2020 with far greater certainty, and our research suggests small businesses have switched from staying afloat through cost-cutting to a new era of planning for sales growth, investing in people and product diversification to boost bottom-line growth.  While 10% of business leaders are investing in training, the remaining 90% should be giving this serious thought, and what options that are available to businesses. 

    “Our research also suggests that more small business owners recognise the need to adopt flexibility in their budgeting, whilst safeguarding their financial strength by building up their financial reserves.

    “These factors point towards 2020 being a year when more small businesses will be looking for finance to help to realise their growth ambitions. We would encourage business owners to talk to specialists that can offer flexible solutions that are tailored to the needs of their business.”