Decline Over for Startups by Year End

The worst of the decline in start up business numbers is expected to be over by the end of the year, according to Barclays estimates revealed today at the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies conference in York. The figures reveal an expected 380,000 in businesses startups during 2008 (2007: 430,000), as well as an SME market better financially prepared to weather the economic downturn.

“We believe most of the downward adjustment will have occurred by the end of the year, and a lot of the fall has already occurred,”

said Nic Bayley, Head of Product for Barclays Local Business.

“Business closures are also past their peak and are likely to level off shortly. While we expect some further decline in the stock of firms into 2009, by early 2010 we could be seeing the first real signs of a pickup in SME numbers.

“The spectre of 1993 â?? when we last saw a recession â?? is often invoked, but today matters are fundamentally different. Small businesses have kept their borrowing in line with their assets, rather than borrowed excessively.

“These are savvy businesses which have been prudent with their finances. Likewise, Barclays has not changed its criteria for small business loans â?? we are definitely open for business.”

George Derbyshire, NFEA Chief Executive, added:

“These encouraging figures released at our conference today show the spirit of enterprise is alive and well in the UK,”

“These are challenging times, and advice and support from NFEA members through programmes like our Barclays Let’s Talk seminars can make all the difference – before, during and after start up.”

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