News

Our small business news section covers the latest reports, research, stories and updates on regulations that affect the UK’s small and medium enterprises.

Small Businesses Could Generate £34bn for the Economy by 2021, On One Condition

Small Businesses Could Generate £34bn for the Economy by 2021, On One Condition

UK small businesses could unlock £34bn for the economy by 2021, and generate 194,000 new jobs, if they were able to secure the right loan. Latest research conducted by Barclays with 794 small and medium enterprises suggests that 64% of small business could increase their turnover if they had access to adequate loan facilities. Despite acknowledging that applying for a loan could provide a growth boost, 30% of the small and medium-sized businesses surveyed said they had no plans to enquire about a loan. With ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Brexit decision, 24% of small firms shared the view that it will become harder to secure a loan this year while 20% said they already believed Brexit had impacted upon their current or future funding requirements. In response to the findings, Barclays... »

Government Urged To Help Small Businesses ‘Go Green’ And Help UK Meet Emissions Target

Government Urged To Help Small Businesses ‘Go Green’ And Help UK Meet Emissions Target

The government has been urged to incentivise more small businesses to embrace green energy and help the UK meet its emissions target, in a new report released by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The Power Of Price: Energising Small Business In The Next UK Carbon Plan suggests that most enterprises would welcome such changes – with 86% already believing the UK is too reliant on imported energy, with 61% admitting powering their business is a significant cost. 10% of all small firms now generate their own energy on site, with the possibility of selling a surplus back to the grid an added revenue opportunity for many. Indeed, an environmental conscience appears to already exist in millions of UK small firms as 40% have already installed efficient lights, 23% have implemented sw... »

61% of Small Business Invoices Remain Unpaid Within The Debtor Period

61% of Small Business Invoices Remain Unpaid Within The Debtor Period

61% of small business invoices remain unpaid within the debtor day period, according to new research by Amicus Commercial Finance. The survey of 504 small firm decision makers revealed that 70% rely on getting what their owed during this period to ensure they don’t face a shortage of working capital. More worrying, the research shows that 16% of all invoices remain unpaid after 90 days, with 7% yet to be settled after six months. Respondents’ top three customers account for 49% of all their trade – signifying how problematic this situation can be. Aside from the obvious financial implications, the culture of late payments appears to be affecting business owners’ mental health, 28% said the ordeal of chasing payments leaves them suffering from stress and anxiety – while 19% of those s... »

£1 Trillion Government Export Target Won’t Be Reached

£1 Trillion Government Export Target Won’t Be Reached

The government’s target of having an export industry worth £1 trillion by 2020 looks unlikely to be reached, as 96% of all non-exporting businesses have no plan to sell overseas in 2017 – according to research by ICAEW. Despite an extensive advertising campaign, it’s revealed that just 53% of all UK small businesses currently export, the same number recorded in 2014 – with just 1% of enterprises exporting for the first time this year. Just 25% of businesses that sell abroad are planning to enter new markets in the next 12 months, down from 33% two years ago. When quizzed about why they decided not to take the jump into the world market, 41% of small businesses have replied that they had a sufficient customer base in the UK The US and Europe are the main destinations of selling for 30... »

Seven in 10 UK Small Businesses Expect Zero Revenue Growth in 2017

Seven in 10 UK Small Businesses Expect Zero Revenue Growth in 2017

71% of UK small-to-medium businesses expect revenue to either drop or stay at the same level over the next 12 months, according to new data from  RSA. Of the 1,000 small business owners RSA surveyed 32% cited the current climate of economic uncertainty as the reason for being sceptical about future revenue growth. 51% of small firms were also found to share the opinion that the government is not doing enough to facilitate the growth of small to medium enterprises in the country; only 22% said they felt satisfactorily supported. Small businesses based in the South West of England appear to be the most concerned about business prospects in 2017 – 80% of small firms  in this region expect a standstill or decline in revenue growth. In fact, 40% of South West-based small business owners a... »

Top of Business Owners’ Christmas Lists? A Better Relationship with The Bank

Top of Business Owners’ Christmas Lists? A Better Relationship with The Bank

34% of the UK’s small business owners have said they feel disconnected from their bank in new research from Hitachi Capital’s British Business Barometer. The survey of 1,006 small business owners found that 32% of those running a small firm believe banks should show a greater willingness to lend growth capital, while 28% wished for more transparent fees and charges. Others argued that banks should offer tailored flexible finance terms (26%) and more competitive lending rates (26%), while 30% of small business owners in the East of England said they would like their banks to have more specialist sector knowledge. Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, commented: “Despite the concerns that small businesses have felt towards banks and lenders, they do want... »

£1.82bn Now Owed by UK Businesses in Late Corporation Tax

£1.82bn Now Owed by UK Businesses in Late Corporation Tax

Despite the fact that UK businesses benefit from one of the lowest corporation tax rates of all major economies – 20% for companies with profits of up to £1.5m – business owners are struggling to pay their Corporation Tax on time and now owe £1.82bn in late tax payments. This figure, reported by Funding Options in its latest research for 2016, is a 15% increase on 2015 (£1.59bn) and suggests that cashflow pressures are growing for companies. With businesses already unable to pay Corporation Tax when due, Funding Options has predicted that this issue will worsen over the next year given the slowdown in the UK economy since the Brexit vote. Business owners who are concerned about falling in Corporation Tax arrears have been encouraged to consider using alternative funding options... »

Reducing Costs And Increasing Marketing Among Small Business’ New Year’s Resolutions

Reducing Costs And Increasing Marketing Among Small Business’ New Year’s Resolutions

A reduction in spending and an increase in marketing are top of small business’ New Year’s resolutions, according to a report by liberis. The survey of 200 small firm owners and managers revealed that 58% cite tightening the purse strings as their main priority for 2017, followed by increasing web development and marketing (53%), expanding the business (39%) and engaging in more networking (33%). Smaller resolutions among respondents include achieving a healthier work-life balance (28%), reducing wasted time (17%), managing cashflow (15%), and collecting money owned (7%) – with 9% admitting they’re going to wield the axe and let go poor preforming employees. When broken down by sector and their main priorities, those in retail are mostly dreaming of reduced expenditure over the next ... »

Businesses Owners Still Reliant On Bank Of Mum And Dad As The Real Thing Turns Them Down

Businesses Owners Still Reliant On Bank Of Mum And Dad As The Real Thing Turns Them Down

25% of micro-businesses owners still rely on personal savings, family borrowings and credit card loans, to fund growth – according to a report Close Brothers. Banking on Growth: Closing the SME funding gap revealed a disparaging gap between the success rates of lager firms and micro-businesses (those with between one and nine employees) seeking finance from traditional lenders. While 38% of all small businesses have used bank loans to grow, this figure rises to 51% when enterprises with more than 100 workers are considered. Early-stage businesses and start-ups also struggle to gain the trust of banks in the beginning of their journeys, as 37% admit they’ve been refused credit in their first two years of trading. It’s suggested a failure for small businesses to secure funds could hamper lon... »

Late Payment Culture A “Chronic Disease” In Small Business Space

Late Payment Culture A “Chronic Disease” In Small Business Space

Just 51% of UK micro-business invoices were paid on time last year, according to FreeAgent. The survey of more than 600,000 invoices sent by over 6,600 micro-business customers revealed that businesses in Sheffield are the worst affected – with just 24% of all invoices settled within three days of being issued. In contrast, Manchester businesses have it the easiest when it comes to getting what they’re owed, as 75% of all bills are settled on time. City % of invoices paid on time Sheffield 24% Twickenham 27% Slough 29% Leeds 39% Stevenage 39%   City % of invoices paid on time Manchester 75% Aberdeen 61% York 61% Leicester 58% Norwich 58%   Last October, it was revealed that UK small businesses are going to receive a Tsar to help them tackle the issue of late payments in 2017. Ed ... »

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