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SMEs spend 20% more on credit card than pre-2020, Intuit finds

A third of UK small businesses agree that, over the past 12 months, the cost and availability of financing has deteriorated, rising to 39% amongst the youngest firms

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Small businesses currently spend 20% more, on average, on credit card fees than they did before the pandemic due to elevated inflation and high-interest rates, according to a new report from global financial technology platform Intuit. 

At the same time, monthly credit card payments – including interest charges – are up by 26% on average. 

Meanwhile, about a third of UK small businesses agree that, over the past 12 months, the cost and availability of financing has deteriorated, rising to 39% amongst the youngest firms ages below five years. 

As a result, small business job vacancy growth rates declined in all of the first eight months of the year, despite overall employment levels trending upward in the UK, the US and Canada in 2023.

The report, which used anonymised data from more than 3.4 million Intuit QuickBooks customers and surveys of more than 5,000 small businesses in the UK, the US and Canada, examines the relationships between small business growth, access to capital, and use of digital technology. 

Solopreneur, which are non-employer businesses, have also increased from 68% in the early 2000s to 74% today. Inuit suppose that the rise of the gig economy benefits from automation tools, which let solopreneurs single-handedly run their operations.  

This also ties in with a clear correlation between higher use of software, apps and other digital technologies and better business performance, as many have improved business resilience by going digital. In the UK, a substantial 54% of enterprises that are high users of digital tools report positive revenue growth. 

The report revealed the top three digital tools used by UK small businesses as: social media (51%), business website (50%) and accounting/financial software (45%).

Sasan Goodarzi, CEO of Intuit, said: “Becoming an entrepreneur is a bold decision. Given the significant impact new and growing small businesses have on job creation, innovation, and the economy, policymakers and industry leaders should be equally bold in creating an environment where small businesses can grow and thrive. 

“We remain focused on working across the industry to create new and innovative ways to serve our customers and help solve their most pressing challenges.”

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