This level of optimism helps explain why 49 per cent expect their companies’ monthly revenue to increase over the next 12 months, compared to just 16 per cent who anticipate it to fall.

However, the findings reveal that 23 per cent of business owners are looking to secure more funding over the next year than they needed during the past 12 months, and only 8 per cent think they will need less credit.

Max Chmyshuk, Founder and Managing Partner at Fleximize, who commissioned the research, said: “Banks are turning down around one in five credit applications from small businesses, and just under one in ten from medium-sized enterprises, and this is fuelling demand for alternative sources of finance. Indeed, this year the UK alternative lending market has been providing over £211 million of credit to businesses and individuals every month, more than double the average monthly figure for 2014.”