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Almost half of SMEs consider selling up

June 27th, 2012 by Chris St Cartmail

The optimism of some of Britain's small businesses appears to be failing as many start to feel that the struggle to stay afloat is just too much.

Indeed, recent research from borro's Enterprise Ladder Report found that over the past five years 46 per cent of small business owners have seriously considered putting their business up for sale or simply closing down. Furthermore, 21 per cent stated that they are very likely to exit their business within the next five years, while 26 per cent said that they are quite likely to exit.

While all this will bring a large amount of change and disruption to businesses and workers, it is also likely to improve the opportunities available for those looking to buy distressed businesses.

Given the study's findings, business buyers with innovation and creativity in business could find themselves in a particularly advantageous position as the current economic climate makes it more important than ever to look for a different approach to business. The borro research showed that 40 per cent of SME owners would be unlikely to start up their business today in the same form as they did at the outset, while the figure rises to 47 per cent when those who used a loan to help them start-up their business are questioned.

Paul Aitken, chief executive of borro, commented: “The last five years have seen the nation's small business owners really struggle to keep their heads above water.

He added that small business lending is particularly important during such difficult times and can help to make the difference between failure and survival for many companies.