SMEs ‘feeling the pinch’

Over a third of small to medium enterprise (SME) owners are concerned about their companies’ financial prospects for the next year, a new study has said.

Abbey Business Banking’s research found 39 per cent of SME bosses felt their economic prospects for the next 12 months was “somewhat concerning” or “poor”.

In comparison, last year’s figures show 15 per cent of SME owners felt this way.

Additionally, 12 per cent of small companies have seen an increase in their clients not paying up.

This could create debt management problems in the future if the economic climate does not improve.

Commenting on the findings, Abbey Business Banking’s head Paula Ickinger said: “The coming year could prove a testing time for a large number of small business owners with many being squeezed by consumers reluctant to part with their cash and suppliers pushing prices up.”

However, the study also found 14 per cent of SME owners believed opportunities may arise from economic instability.

Ms Ickinger recommended preparing for the financial future by budgeting carefully and reviewing benefits offered by banks.

Last week Alliance & Leicester revealed over 40 per cent of SME owners have taken less time off since starting their businesses.

By Morwenna Kearns

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