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Half UK SME owners consider selling or closing

Wednesday 20th June 2012

The effects of Britain's double-dip recession have been hard felt among the nation's small business owners.

Research released from borro's Enterprise Ladder Report reveals that in the past five years 46% of all small business owners have seriously considered either selling their business or closing it down completely.

borro also quizzed small business owners on the future of their enterprises. When asked about the next five years, a fifth (21%) say they are very likely to exit their business, either by selling their share or closing the business entirely, and 26% reveal they are quite likely to exit.

Further analysis of small business owner responses showed that two-fifths (40%) would be unlikely to start up their business today in the same form as they did at the outset. For those SME owners who used a loan to help finance the start-up of their business, this figure rises to nearly half (47%).

Paul Aitken, CEO of borro, said: "The last five years have seen the nation's small business owners really struggle to keep their heads above water.  It's worrying to think that the small business landscape in the UK could shrink over the next five years if they continue to operate in uncertainty."

The UK's slump into a double-dip recession has also affected how small business owners perceive starting a new company. Nearly half (46%) of respondents said  it would be  harder to start a business this year than it would have been in 2011 - with a quarter (24%) saying it is "much harder" to do so. Only one in six (16%) felt it is easier to start a business during this year compared to last.

Aitken said: "With 2012 perceived as being one of the toughest years yet to either launch a small business or keep one afloat, SME owners are increasingly having a look at alternative ways to secure the finance they need. Small businesses are at the heart of the UK economy and need to be provided with quick secure lending facilities. At borro, it comes as little surprise that small business owners represent 60% of the growing client base."

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George Bailey





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Editorial Contact Details - Conor Shilling
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