SME closure rates are a warning claims campaign group

More than 27,000 small and medium sized enterprises have ceased trading in 2018 to date as they face a rising financial and administrative burden.

The analysis of Office for National Statistics data included figures for the current year from the Independents’ Day campaign.

Campaign organisers have said the high number of closures should act as a “warning” following four consecutive years of growth in SME numbers.

According to the ONS data, there are now 5,660,000 SMEs operating on the UK, down from 5,687,000 in 2017.

Classified as having fewer than 250 employees, SMEs account for the vast majority of operational firms, yet Independents’ Day has called for them to receive more administrative support.

SMEs account for around 60% of employment and 16.3 million jobs, while turnover is at an all‐time high of around £2 trillion.

Some 51% of all turnover generated by UK businesses comes from SMEs, which represents a significant increase from 2015 when that figure was around 33%.

Despite the growth, the organisation has suggested that small firms need more support in order to overcome financial issues, such as greater tax burdens and cash flow problems.

HMRC time to pay services can help businesses that are struggling with any tax liabilities, PAYE arrears or VAT issues.

A range of alternative finance options also exist to provide short and long‐term solutions to businesses faxing operational difficulties.

The key for any business facing up to financial woes is to act quickly, as that increases the number of potential rescue and recovery options that can be implemented.

Independents’ Day UK looks to promote small retail businesses across the UK and the non‐for‐profit campaign reports that independent stores account for 65% of the UK’s 290,000 retail outlets.

By Phil Smith




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