Small business owners ready to fight for their company

More than two thirds of small business owners around the world have dived into personal savings or re-mortgaged their homes to make a success of their company, research finds.


More than two thirds of small business owners around the world have dived into personal savings or re-mortgaged their homes to make a success of their company, research finds.

The study by Sage reveals the extent of the personal sacrifice made by entrepreneurs the world over, with one in five business leaders in the UK having worried about how they can afford to pay staff – more than in France or Germany. 

The research also outlines the top things our business leaders want to see from the government in return, to help them grow their business and boost the UK economy.

One quarter (26 per cent) of business leaders around the world work more than 50 hours per week. Around a half (56 per cent) usually work weekends, and the same proportion (56 per cent) chose not to use up their holiday entitlement last year.

As a result of this sacrifice, three fifths (61 per cent) of small companies globally, and 65 per cent in the UK, say they’ll hire up to five employees over the next two years, collectively generating significant employment in the economy.

In return, however, 84 per cent of UK business leaders say that they have never received financial or other support from the state, and outline the top three things they want to see from our government, to help them continue to thrive: reduce business rates/ tax (57 per cent), cut business bureaucracy and legislation (56 per cent) and control energy/ utility costs (31 per cent).

Furthermore, more than one in ten (12 per cent) also want the government to take decisive action to tackle late payments.

Brendan Flattery, president for Sage Europe says, ‘Small and medium businesses are the engine of our economy. Their leaders are true heroes, willing to make a great personal sacrifice and take significant risks in the name of growth and job creation.

‘As a country we owe them a debt of gratitude, and it is the responsibility of our government to listen to their demands to reduce the burden of business rates and to also cut business bureaucracy.

It is imperative the Chancellor’s review of this outdated tax brings the reform so desperately needed. Only then can UK businesses finally flourish.’

Further reading on starting a company 

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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