Confidence among small business owners throughout the South West is rising again according to the latest Federation of Small Businesses’ quarterly survey. The results of their latest poll shows confidence levels locally (and indeed across the UK) bouncing back after falling somewhat in 2017. The renewed confidence appears to have been fuelled due to a backdrop of lower inflation, progress on Brexit talks and elements within the Government’s Spring Statement. And, it is not only confidence that is rising. The proportion of firms planning to increase investment has hit a two-year high and half of the small businesses surveyed by the FSB expect to expand operations over the coming 12 months. The survey also shows small firms are continuing to hire – the proportion reporting a steady or increased headcount is at its highest since Summer 2016 (82%).