Time for change

Why the UK needs to back small businesses

The Brexit conundrum

As it currently stands, the UK is due to leave the European Union by October 31st 2019. What impact do you think this will have on the economy?

61%
It will have a negative impact on the economy
22%
I don’t know what impact it will have on the economy
11%
It will have a positive impact on the economy
6%
It will have little or no impact on the economy

What do you think the main POSITIVE impact of Brexit will be after the UK leaves the EU?

53%
I don’t think there will be any positive impact from Brexit
18%
The UK becoming financially and/or legislatively independent from Europe
10%
Fewer regulations and less red tape for businesses
9%
An end to economic uncertainty
5%
Clarity over the UK’s future international trading relationships
3%
An overhaul of EU-directed taxes (e.g VAT)
2%
Higher employment among UK nationals

What do you think the main NEGATIVE impact of Brexit will be after the UK leaves the EU?

38%
Economic instability
23%
Political and/or social instability
19%
Higher tariffs on imports and exports
9%
I don't think there will be any negative impact from Brexit
6%
Fewer regulations and legislation designed to help protect small businesses/customers
5%
Lower availability of funding for businesses

What impact do you think that Brexit will have on the supply chain that your business uses or relies on?

35%
Not applicable - my business does not use or rely on any supply chains
29%
It will have a negative impact
21%
It will have little/no impact
10%
I don't know
4%
It will have a positive impact

Looking ahead post-Brexit, where would you like to explore opportunities for trade or business growth over the next 10 years? (choose all that apply)

60%
European countries within the EU
40%
United States
30%
European countries outside the EU
25%
Canada
23%
Australia
12%
China
10%
India
16%
Other

What do you think is the biggest obstacle for businesses to trade outside the UK and Europe?

32%
Lack of knowledge about new markets
21%
Tax implications of trading internationally
19%
Regulations and red tape
14%
Political instability
12%
Volatility/unpredictability of currency exchange rates
2%
Other

More than half of the respondents gave a stark warning that they do not believe there will be any positive impact from Brexit whatsoever.

– Small Business Monitor (September 2019)

The late payment problem

What's the longest you’ve ever waited before getting paid by a client?

30%
1-3 months
19%
3-6 months
14%
Less than a month
12%
6-12 months
10%
I’ve had a client/clients that never paid me
7%
I have never experienced a late paying client
5%
12-24 months
2%
More than 24 months

What is the largest amount you’ve ever had to write off from your accounts due to a late paying client?

41%
I’ve never had to write off any money due to a late/non-paying client
14%
£100 - £500
13%
Less than £100
12%
£1000 - £5000
10%
£500 - £1000
4%
More than £10,000
4%
£5000 - £10,000
2%
I’d prefer not to say

Do you think that late payment should be treated as seriously as corporate crimes such as fraud and malpractice - potentially leading to prison sentences for offenders?

55%
Yes
28%
No
17%
I don't know

What powers or legislation would you like to see the government introduce to tackle the issue of late payment? (choose all that apply)

59%
Enabling business owners to secure compensation from late-paying clients
54%
Making it easier/more affordable for business owners to take legal action against late payers
51%
Imposing financial penalties on late payers
42%
Implementing an official code of conduct for companies to adhere to with regard to paying clients
33%
Mandating large businesses to publicly report their payment practices
28%
Publicly naming and shaming late payers
14%
Custodial sentences for severe/repeat offenders
6%
I don't think the government should have any additional powers to tackle late payment

More than half of respondents said that they had been forced to write money off from their accounts at some point due to not being paid on time.

– Small Business Monitor (September 2019)

The new startup economy

How much did it cost for you to start/set up your business?

23%
£0 - £250
16%
£501 - £1000
15%
£1001 - £2000
14%
More than £10,000
12%
£2001 - £5000
11%
£251 - £500
9%
£5001 - £10,000

What was the main method you used to fund your business when you started?

52%
Personal savings
34%
I didn't need any funding
5%
Bank loan
4%
Loan from family member/friend
3%
Credit card
1%
Alternative financing (e.g. crowdfunding)
1%
Government grant/assistance

Only 1% of respondents said they had used an official grant or government assistance to fund their business when they started.

– Small Business Monitor (September 2019)

Supporting small businesses in the current climate

Do you think the current UK tax system is designed to benefit small businesses?

58%
No, it favours large businesses
20%
I don’t know
17%
No, it favours neither large or small businesses
5%
Yes, it favours small businesses

Do you think that introducing IR35 - or off-payroll - legislation into the private sector is a good idea?

39%
I don’t know what IR35/off-payroll legislation is
34%
No
20%
I don't know
7%
Yes

Have you ever experienced burnout as a result of working too hard on your business?

51%
Yes
43%
No
6%
I don't know

Do you think that there are enough mental health support resources available to small business owners in the UK?

52%
No
43%
I don't know
6%
Yes

Which, if any, of these statutory protections/benefits do you think self-employed people should receive? (tick all that apply)

70%
Sick pay
56%
Mental health support
55%
Maternity/paternity/adoption leave & pay
51%
Pension auto-enrolment
33%
Holiday pay
17%
Redundancy pay
3%
I don’t think self-employed people should receive any statutory protections/benefits

Do you think banks do enough to support small businesses?

56%
No
23%
I don't know
21%
Yes

What do you think about the way that banks are regulated in the UK?

56%
No
37%
I think that banks are adequately regulated
34%
I think that banks should face more regulation
24%
I don’t know
4%
I think that banks should face less regulation

Do you think the UK education system provides young people with relevant skills required to start their own business?

80%
No
15%
I don't know
5%
Yes

Which of these skills do you think would be valuable to provide to young people in education, so they can start their own business? [select all that apply]

90%
Understanding financing
74%
Basic understanding of economics
64%
Management skills
62%
IT skills
54%
Negotiation skills
51%
Basic legal training
44%
Public speaking
5%
Other

Just over half of the small business owners revealed that they had suffered from burnout as a result of working too hard on their business.

– Small Business Monitor (September 2019)