This week, the world economy felt the repercussions of China’s recent economic sluggishness, with UK SMEs in particular expected to encounter the effects. In other news, the numbers of UK self-employed workers has risen to record highs, and shock figures suggest that over half of all UK small and medium sized enterprises are owed a combined £225 billion.
Feature of the Week
UK SME sector threatened by China slowdown | The Guardian
The news that the Chinese economy is slowing down faster than is expected has sent tremors throughout the world economy and could potentially affect UK SME growth negatively.
Entrepreneurs may worry about access to investment and lending that has been coming from Chinese money. Their impressive growth over the past few years has helped to fund many businesses worldwide through difficult times, and the impediment of this flow may have detrimental effects.
Numbers of UK self-employed soar | Smallbusiness.co.uk
According to the latest figures, a record number of people are now working for themselves in the UK. The (number) has risen from 98,000 in the three months leading up to November 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.
An astounding 4.62 million people are now self-employed, along with a rise in all other areas of employment rates. This increase has been welcomed by many groups.
UK salaries on a yearly increase | Smallbusiness.co.uk
Better pay is predicted to be a top priority for staff in 2016, as it’s been reported that salaries are increasing at a rate of 4.4% year on year.
The latter part of 2015 saw a healthy hike in UK wages with the average worker now taking home £33,236.67 each year, up from £31,852.50.
The sectors with the highest levels of salary increase are construction, retail, automotive and media.
Majority of small businesses owed money | Smallbusiness.co.uk
Statistics show that as many as a fifth of businesses are owed more than £25,000.
Fifty-three per cent of UK SMEs are owed a collected £225 billion in late payments, with almost one in ten of these companies being owed more than £100,000.
A staggering 43,000 small and medium-sized businesses are owed upwards of £1 million.
A clear divide has been identified between job and productivity in the North and the South of England.
The North East, Yorkshire and Scotland risk being left behind in UK growth as business conditions are found to be particularly difficult in that region with unemployment nearly 60% higher than the national average.
The recent flooding is also understood to be a contributing factor to the reduced economic confidence of the regions.