Business optimism is on the up, as one in seven small and medium businesses (SMBs) are hopeful that they will employ more staff over the coming quarter.

According to thisismoney.co.uk, a survey from the Federation of Small Businesses reveals that around one in ten small firms have taken on staff in the past three months. Recruitment levels were particularly high in the West Midland and East of England, as around 14 per cent of employers in those regions provided new jobs in the first quarter of 2014.

Confidence among small business owners is on the up too, reaching 35.7 – a record-breaking score. Previously, the highest confidence figure was seen in the third quarter of last year, reports freshbusinessthinking.com.

Moreover, two third of SMBs expect to grow over the next year and one in four say they will boost the amount that they invest in their firm.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills expressed how important small businesses are.

“We have already made employment processes simpler and from next month small businesses will also see their National Insurance bill cut by up to £2,000,” he explains. “Small businesses make up 99 per cent of the whole private sector and employ 14 million people – they are absolutely vital for a resilient and sustainable economy.”