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Over half of small businesses do not have any business finance in place at all, with overdrafts being most popular choice for those that do.

Two in five small businesses (42 per cent) say they don’t have enough access to finance to keep their companies going.

Over half (52 per cent) have no financing at for their businesses, despite the UK being a world leader in offering innovative finance solutions for small business.

Of the small businesses that do have access to finance, one fifth (19 per cent) rely on bank overdrafts to finance their business, rather than loans or other types of investment, according to new research. A business credit card is the second most popular choice (9 per cent) followed by loans (9 per cent).

At a time when every small business has to be, to an extent, a digital business, nearly half (47 per cent) of small businesses admit they do not think they have sufficient digital skills for their businesses.

And skills and staffing remain a key concern for Britain’s small businesses, with over a third (37 per cent) unhappy with their ability to maintain and recruit staff.

Yet nine out of ten small businesses (86 per cent) remain upbeat, saying that they are ambitious for their businesses in 2020.

One in 10 plan to start exporting in 2020, compared with the 14 per cent of small businesses which currently sell overseas.

>See also: Small businesses using loans to manage cashflow, instead of investing


Despite the worrying findings from the Small Report 2020, published by new small business champion Small Business Britain, founder Michelle Ovens remains defiantly upbeat.

Ovens said: “It would be easy to think that amid Making Tax Digital, late payments, mandatory pensions, minimum wage, IR35 and, of course, Brexit, small businesses feel worn down by the new challenges on their shoulders. The Small Report 2020 indicates otherwise. Despite press reports of negative confidence, small businesses have every intention of pushing forward, the vast majority consider themselves ambitious and most have at least some focus on growth in the coming year – and for good reasons.”

Small Business Britain surveyed 1,037 small businesses across Britain.

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