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Small businesses continuing to worry about debt and cashflow, according to new survey.

London, UK (10/05/2011)

Almost three years after the recession began in earnest, the threat of debt and cashflow problems continues to haunt the small business community.

According to new research from insolvency trade body R3, 46% of Britain’s small firms fretted about their ability to repay their debts in the first quarter.

The figure is 12% higher than was recorded in the final three months of 2010, indicating that entrepreneurs’ financial problems are getting worse, not better despite the government’s efforts to stimulate the small business community.

One in four of the entrepreneurs who responded to the survey said they have had cashflow problems; meanwhile, almost a fifth said they were finding it difficult to meet payment deadlines for their invoices.

Tax was a major problem for many respondents; 50% said they were worried about their outstanding tax bill, up from 41% in the final quarter of 2010. Meanwhile, more than a third of respondents expressed concern about the money they owed to trade creditors.

Frances Coulson, R3’s president, told the Daily Telegraph: “An alarming minority of the business community are struggling to address their financial woes. That things aren’t improving for these businesses at a time when monetary and fiscal policy should be benefiting them is a real concern.

“These businesses are likely to fall on hard times when interest rates inevitably rise, making it more difficult to service their debt.”

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