A new study has revealed that in the last three months the number of SMEs predicting they could close has doubled from five per cent to 10 per cent.
Produced by Hitachi Capital Business Finance, the report makes for worrying reading as the proportion of small business owners reporting their concerns about business failure have remained consistent at around four to five per cent for the past seven quarters.
The study shows that:
- Retail is the sector most fearful of collapse (17 per cent of businesses afraid of failure in Q3)
- SMEs growth predictions for the next three months hit its lowest level for more than a year
- SMEs in the North East believe themselves to be most at risk (20 per cent concerned about survival in Q3, up from just two per cent in the previous quarter)
- Welsh businesses followed close behind (14 per cent of SMEs worried about going under in Q3)
- Eight of the industry sectors tracked by Hitachi Capital saw a quarterly rise in the proportion of businesses fearing for their livelihoods.
Hitachi Capital said: “For the past year, our research has shown that the small business community has seen political and economic change as an opportunity.
“Our latest findings, though, suggest the protracted nature of Brexit negotiations may now be taking its toll.”