A survey on the state of small business finances by Purbeck Personal Guarantee Insurance has uncovered that despite a turbulent year in 2023 with high inflation and geopolitical unrest knocking consumer confidence, almost a third of small businesses (31%) are making a good profit and 45% are in profit by a small margin. 18% say they are just breaking even.
30% of the small business directors and owners said they plan to seek secure new finance for their business in 2024 and 32% of those seeking finance will need it to support cashflow rather than for investment in business equipment or growth. While this means that almost a third of the businesses surveyed need cash to just keep their business ticking over, this is down from 53% in 2023.
Meanwhile, just 16% of business owners have had to take on a personal debt to fund their business. Again, this is a fall by more than half on the same survey in 2023.
The fact that many UK small businesses do not plan to take on additional debt this year will be a relief to many as interest rates are set to remain high for longer to help bring inflation under control, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Comments Todd Davison, MD of Purbeck Personal Guarantee Insurance said “Small businesses need to remain vigilant and resilient, especially heading into an election year which can throw unexpected curveballs as policy shifts can lead to economic uncertainty. Add to this the National Living Wage increase[iii] coming into force from April adding £1800 to a full-time worker’s salary, and business owners should always be flexible, prepared for potential change and how it might impact business costs.
“Despite less than a third of business owners saying they will source new finance this year, all businesses should keep abreast of funding options should their position change.”