The year ahead will offer golden opportunities for some businesses, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said.
Set against a backdrop of sluggish economic growth and global market uncertainty, 2012 will not be easy; but there will be openings for those businesses wanting to grow, innovate and expand says John Walker, national chairman of the FSB.
The Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee are both set to take place this year, and will help to boost spirits and money making opportunities. Meanwhile, inflation should begin to decrease says Walker, which will have a positive effect on small businesses overheads and consumer confidence.
But the problems that tainted 2011 will continue, including access to finance, Mr Walker said: "Part of what has held small firms back has been because they cannot access finance from the banks. Small firms struggled last year, even if they wanted to take on staff, because they have had cash-flow problems. And the banks have still been unwilling to lend. So much so that our research shows that many businesses have missed their growth opportunities."
To tackle the problem, the FSB wants to see more creative thinking from the Government to tackle the dominance of the big banks. Summing up his comments, Mr Walker said:
"Small businesses are still simply getting on with the job at hand of running their business. They want to grow, innovate and employ - but they are being held back. 2012 needs to be the year that the Government really nurtures small firms - especially since it is the private sector that is being looked upon to put the economy back onto firm ground."