Survey highlights concerns of small business owners

Clearer guidance on Brexit, access to finance and dealing with late payments and workplace stress are some of the most pressing issues facing the country’s small firms.

That’s the conclusion of a survey carried out by FreeAgent, which asked more than 1,000 small business owners for their views on the current issues facing them.

Key findings include:

  • 61% of small business owners think Brexit will have a negative impact on the economy.
  • More than half (57%) of respondents said that they have been forced to write money off from their accounts at some point due to not being paid on time.
  • 55% of small business owners think that late payment should be treated as seriously as corporate crimes.
  • Only 1% of respondents said they had officially used an official grant or government assistance to fund their business when they started.
  • Just over half (51%) of business owners revealed that they had suffered from burnout as a result of working too hard on their business.
  • The vast majority (80%) of respondents do not think that the UK education system provides young people with relevant skills required to start their own business.

“New technology and legislation are having a significant impact on millions of small business owners, while ongoing economic uncertainty, the threat of automation and the looming shadow of Brexit are making the future increasingly unclear,” said Ed Molyneux, CEO and founder of FreeAgent. “In this challenging climate, we wanted to find out exactly what small business owners think about the current economic climate and the legal issues facing them. We asked more than 1,000 small business owners for their views on some of the big issues they currently face. Their responses show the clear need for a change of strategy in the small business sector in order to help these businesses survive and thrive.”

The report, called ‘Time for change: Why the UK needs to back small businesses’, can be found at https://www.freeagent.com/time-for-change/.

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