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UK's SMEs are 'thriving and growing'

Jan 16
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UK's SMEs are 'thriving and growing'

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are thriving, with reports that profits are up compared to 2013 leading to a positive outlook for 2015, according to a new report.

Three-quarters of the businesses interviewed by LV= Broker had maintained their turnover in the last 12 months, while 41 per cent reported an increase.

The study revealed that a new generation of small business owners has entered the market, with 190,000 new SMEs appearing during 2014.

In addition to improved turnovers, SMEs have also created new jobs, with 21 per cent of owners saying they have taken on more staff during the last year and four per cent employing people for the first time, equating to 200,000 new roles.

LV= Broker warns that while the economic outlook for Britain's small businesses is positive, running a company does not come without risks. An unforeseen event, such as a fire or flood, can bring trading to a halt for a few days, weeks or months while repairs are carried out and stocks replenished.

For some, these unexpected incidents can mean financial ruin and herald the end of the road for some small businesses. The report reveals that the number of liability claims being made against SMEs has been growing steadily over recent years, meaning company owners need to protect themselves against them.

According to the research, 15 per cent of SMEs have no financial backup plan should the worst happen, while four per cent, or 200,000 firms, do not have an insurance policy in place.

When asked why they didn't have insurance in place, 38 per cent did not feel the need to have a contingency plan in place, 21 per cent couldn't afford the cover and ten per cent said they would put all profits back into the business in the event of a fire or flood.

Mike Crane, commercial lines director at LV= Broker, described SMEs as "the lifeblood of the British economy", meaning that it's good news they have experienced increased turnover and taken on more staff in the last year.

He added: "The research shows that thousands are leaving themselves vulnerable to prosecutions and fines by the Health and Safety Executive for not having appropriate insurance in place.

"Getting the right advice on cover from a specialist insurance broker is invaluable for business owners and can make the difference between being able to continue trading or not should the worst happen."

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