21 Apr 2017 8:10 AM

Almost one in five of the UK’s SMEs are missing payday in an attempt to keep their heads above water and many business owners are dipping into their own savings to survive, according to a recent survey.

The survey was commissioned by the business arm of the utility company npower. It found that against an increasingly competitive and uncertain economic backdrop, small businesses were found to be predominantly self-financing. In fact, nearly 60% of companies claimed that they don’t rely on anyone for financial support, while 20% said they use their personal savings to stay afloat.

The mood is fairly glum. According to the survey, many businesses don’t expect things to improve – particularly with all the uncertainty around the effects of the UK leaving the European Union. Compared with last year, a quarter of the respondents are less confident about their business growth prospects for 2017, with 67% of these attributing this to the Brexit vote. In March, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) revealed a trade deal with Europe is top of the list for small businesses post-Brexit.

In addition, there are fears among small business owners that a tariff of between 2% and 4% would be prohibitive.

SMEs account for more than 99% of private sector business in the United Kingdom and provide employment for 16.8 million people. If you are concerned about your business, then talk to us.