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Cash flow is the main threat to SMEs - survey

Many businesses are showing signs of growth, but keeping turnover up to match ambition is a challenge.

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IRISH SMALL AND medium enterprises believe that the greatest threat to their survival is cash flow, a new study has revealed.

The Close Brothers Business Barometer found that two fifths of companies surveyed said that their most pressing concern is cold hard cash, while 11 per cent of respondents said that late payments were their most pressing concern.

Ten per cent cited a lack of skilled staff as their most significant concern.

Closer Brothers managing director Harry Parkinson said: “Many businesses appear to be experiencing growth but they could still face financial difficulties. There is a danger they will struggle to survive should they fail to meet the financial demands of an increased workload.”

He warned that SME owners should make sure to keep an eye on cash flow.

“It’s important that firms regularly review their resources and recognise when they need additional financial support.”

Over three quarters of SMEs believe that the worst of the recession has passed, so action should be taken now to prepare their business and ensure they aren’t restricted by a lack of funds.

A third of businesses will expand and hire either part time or full-time staff.

Parkinson said: “Positive signs of recovery may finally be emerging, and it’s promising to see firms planning to increase staff numbers. Job creation can itself bring unique difficulties however, as this form of growth is dependent on a reliable cash flow.”

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Jack Horgan-Jones

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