November brought with it the news that two thirds of small businesses in the UK have failed to grow in the last five years. Also, a record £3 billion has been handed out in business rate discounts in the past year, meaning that the total amount of business rates actually paid by businesses has only increased by less than half the rate of inflation.
Read below for our pick of the top stories this week.
Feature of the week
Growth stunted for one third of SMEs | Smallbusiness.co.uk
New research suggests that as many as one in three small and micro-sized businesses have failed to grow in the last five years.
These businesses cited a lack of capital, too much red tape and a lack of support from banks as factors that were holding their companies back from expanding. Also, a shocking 58% of small and micro businesses said they didn’t have a business plan to help them grow, with many claiming that they don’t know how to put one together.
The Federation of Small Businesses for Scotland (FSB) has warned that small businesses in Scotland need to “adapt or die” to survive the widespread use of emerging technologies. These businesses need to have an increased understanding of how digital technology could transform their industries before it’s too late, the report warned.
Minority of SMEs use the cloud for data storage | Smallbusiness.co.uk
According to recent studies, only 13% of SMEs are using online cloud systems as their primary storage platform, and when asked about whether they were considering using it in as their primary storage strategy in the future, only one fifth (22%) said they would.
Disabled entrepreneurs disadvantaged by the system | The Guardian
Disabled entrepreneurs are not getting the help they need when starting out in business, says this report from The Guardian. Experts suggest that the system is not equipped to deal with their needs, and imposes too many barriers that are “distressing and inappropriate”. Finding strategies to overcome these barriers, however, is essential to sustaining a business, they state.
New figures show that councils have paid out a £221 million increase on business rate discounts and reliefs in the past year, amounting to a total of over £3 billion. Many small and medium-sized businesses have been paying no rates at all.
This means the total amount of business rates actually paid by businesses has gone up by less than 1% in the last year – less than half the rate of inflation.