Businesses in Dacorum are being urged to seek advice if they are struggling to cope with debt, after it was revealed there were nearly 800 ‘business deaths’ in the borough last year.
The Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs Business Debtline, says many sole traders and other small business owners in Dacorum are leaving it too late to seek advice.
The warning comes after new figures showed the struggles facing many businesses in the area.
There were a total of 5,800 so-called ‘business deaths’ (de-registrations) across Hertfordshire throughout 2013, according to the Office of National Statistics.
At the same time, 8,185 businesses were created – but around one in four new businesses in the county (23%) do not survive to see their second birthday.
In Dacorum there were 785 business deaths while there were 960 business births with a 21% two-year death rate.
Business Debtline is the only free debt advice service for small business owners and sole traders in the UK.
Last year the service helped around 40,000 people with business-related debts, with 54% of callers able to overcome their immediate problems and continue to trade.
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy in Dacorum.
“With more and more people becoming self-employed, the need for free, independent advice to help small business owners who fall into financial difficulty has never been greater.
“I would urge any small business owner in Dacorum or across Hertfordshire who is struggling to cope with debt to seek free advice from Business Debtline as soon as possible.
“Our expert advisers – many of whom have experience of running small businesses themselves – are on hand to give local small businesses the help and support they need to get back on their feet and continue trading.”
The charity recently launched a new Business Debtline website – including a range of features for business owners in debt, including factsheets, budget tools and sample letters, all in one place.
Small business owners in can find out more at www.businessdebtline.org or by calling Business Debtline on 0800 197 6026.