Andrew Richard, Owner, John Richards Surplus
"How has 2013 been? Our revenue is up 10 per cent on 2012. The year has been more positive, consumers have become more confident and less wary of spending savings."
"I hope it will continue in 2014 but retail is always unpredictable. It's impossible to know what will happen from one week to the next. "
Oli Randall, Managing Directing, Local Business Partners
"Despite the signs of green shoots, some organisations are stuggling. There are still inherent difficulties - access to finance and managing cashflow - that are a major constraint. Our order book has been ticking up since summer, which is a good indicator. Although, I think there's still to be a trickledown effect from larger businesses to SMEs."
"Small businesses are still holding back in investing in hiring staff. A lot of people appreciate the good news but SMEs are still being cautious."
Kate Bickford, CEO, Forever
"I think a lot of businesses are trying to manage debts and stay afloat. I don't know that banks are doing enough to help them and to lend. I think it's quite difficult still out there; there are lots of companies shedding staff."
"For us, 2014 is very exciting. I think more people will be looking to work for themselves; instead of building someone else's dream, they'll build their own."
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