SME risk at four-year low, says study

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are growing at twice the rate they are shrinking – and business risk has reached its lowest level in four years, according to new research.

The statistics come from insurance provider Zurich’s SME Risk Index, which found a nine per cent decrease in business risk over the course of the last six months.

The Index currently sits at a healthy 36.72 points, according to reports.

Zurich’s research also found a significant decrease in the number of SMEs that felt burdened by ‘red tape’ and ‘workforce challenges’.

Less than a third of SMEs now see ‘red tape’ as a barrier to their business – and the same goes for ‘workplace challenges’, according to reports.

Furthermore, Zurich found a reduction in the number of firms that had been forced to drop prices or make staff cuts – while twice as many businesses as six months ago told the insurance provider that their business was ‘growing’ rapidly.

Zurich spokesperson, Anne Griffiths, said: “Small business has been through the mill over the past four years, due to a changeable business environment of fluctuating political and economic concern.

“There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for small businesses, though.

“Workforce challenges and concerns over business risk are at a four-year low and businesses are growing at twice the rate they are shrinking in the UK.

“The SME community has long been the economic heartbeat of the United Kingdom, and while fixing the economy remains the highest priority, the wider picture is one of success, prosperity, and most importantly, optimism.”