26 Sep 2007

Smaller firms need to stay alert to stay ahead

Although they are increasingly linked to the global economy through the internet and mobile technologies, Britain's small firms appear to have been caught unaware by the current unrest in the financial and housing markets. That's according to the latest Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain, published by the Small Enterprise Research Team, which is hosted by the OU Business School.

Conducted some weeks before serious knock-on effects from the US sub-prime mortgage crisis hit Britain, the survey revealed that just 11 per cent of the 528 respondents had the general economic climate as their main concern. Six per cent were troubled by cashflow or bad debts, and only two per cent were mainly worried about interest rates or access to finance.

In contrast, the most pressing concern remains government regulations and paperwork (23 per cent), as it has been for the past five quarters. For small firms with 20 or more employees, lack of skills and high pay was also an important problem (16 per cent).

For a copy of the full release, contact Open University Media Relations (contact details right).

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