According to the latest survey from Santander Corporate & Commercial, hospitality SME’s predict their businesses will grow by 99 per cent over the next five years, compared to retail (85 per cent), construction (27 per cent), manufacturing (19 per cent) and IT and telecoms (15 per cent).
A third of companies listed regional growth as their ultimate aim, while 13 per cent want to grow internationally.
However there were ongoing concerns over bank and building society lending, with 17 per cent struggling with access to capital and 38 per cent worried about a 'challenging' trading environment.
The issue persists despite figures released by the Bank of England yesterday (3 September) which show that net lending to small businesses by banks and building societies participating in the Government's Funding for Lending scheme (FLS) rose by £490m between April and June.
Mike Reeves, joint managing director of SME Banking at Santander, said: “It’s extremely encouraging for UK plc that SMEs, the lifeblood of the economy, are predicting strong growth over the next five years.
"It is particularly promising that [many] are focused on international expansion, as exporting our products and services overseas is key to ensuring a stable, resilient economy.”