INDUSTRY NEWS

Businesses bullish on new offices

Small businesses have sounded an optimistic note for 2008, with many planning to open new sites and move into new office space despite signs of an economic slowdown.

That is the message from Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, which says that more than one-third of the SMEs it canvassed were positive about the year ahead, with almost half anticipating no negative change from 2007.

A quarter of those polled said they were planning to move into new sectors, with more than one in ten (12 per cent) planning to add to their team.

In addition, four per cent were planning to look for new business property and open new sites, sounding a positive note.

Steve Jennings, director of business banking at Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, said: "Our research shows that the British entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking.

"Entrepreneurs are key to the continued vitality of the UK economy, with small businesses accounting for more than 99 per cent of the country’s business population so its positive news that the economic unrest of the last few months hasn’t put small businesses off looking to the future in a positive frame of mind."

The bank asked more than 700 business owners about their thoughts on 2008, all of whom had turnover of less than £1 million.

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