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RESEARCH: 'Super SMEs' booming in downturn

Amid headlines of doom, gloom, depression and recession, the UK's small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have found themselves bang in the eye of the storm; being celebrated as the lifeblood of our nation's economy, whilst also being held up as a public barometer for all businesses vulnerable in the face of difficult times.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, there are 4.7 million small businesses in Britain, employing 13.5 million people and contributing more than half of the UK's turnover. A recent piece of research commissioned by Plantronics (world-leading manufacturer of headsets) aimed to get under the skin of our modern SME to find out what's working and what's not; and to identify the ingredients for success as well as the pitfalls to avoid in a changing economy.

Overall, the research showed unequivocally that the majority of SMEs (79 per cent) have felt a negative impact on their business as a result of the recession, with almost one quarter citing that impact as 'significant.' Startlingly, three out of 10 SMEs have serious concerns that they will not be trading by Autumn 2009 – a daunting prospect for this sector.