MORE than 2,000 Worcestershire businesses closed down in just a year.
Figures recently released by the Money Advice Trust show a total of 2,210 companies deregistered in 2013.
Although 2,700 were created during the same year, a total of 22 per cent of county businesses do not survive to see their second birthday.
In Redditch, 260 closed and 315 opened with a 21 per cent ‘two-year death rate’ while in neighbouring Bromsgrove there were 395 deaths and 555 creations.
Chief executive Joanna Elson said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy in Worcestershire and across the UK as a whole. 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.”
She added advice for dealing with debt included not ignoring the problem, ensuring all benefits and tax credits the company was entitled to were being claimed, dealing with priority debts first and staying in contact with creditors.
Other ‘golden rules’ are checking to see if payment protection insurance is in place, working out a budget and sticking to it, treating all creditors fairly, keeping copies of all paperwork, letters and receipts and thinking carefully before taking out further credit to clear debts.
The charity has recently launched its Business Debtline website which includes factsheets, budget tools and sample letters for business owners in debt.
Visit www.businessdebtline.org for more information.