UK firms shelled out a record £4.9bn in redundancy payments in the year to 31 March 2012, according to research by law firm EMW. That's a 9% rise on the previous year and means that since the recession hit in 2008, businesses have paid out a huge £18.4bn in total.
It seems the initial positivity we saw around New Year among small businesses is fading. More than one in eight small businesses feel under pressure to survive and believe they are at risk of going out of business in the next year, according to research from insurance firm Zurich.
The worry among small firms could be put down to the scare factor of high-profile businesses such as HMV and Jessops closing down after a poor Christmas period. It could also explain why fear of closing down among small and medium-sized retailers is especially high inn the survey, with over 20% now claiming to be at high risk. SMEs in the construction industry have the most fragile confidence, though, with 37% feeling like this year could be their last.
It's not all bad news though. To adapt and survive the murky economic outlook, small businesses are planning to invest, with 29% claiming "expanding the business in the UK" is a top priority for this year.
For those businesses fretting about their ability to survive or for those unfortunate companies who sadly have to make someone redundant, here's our quick-fire business survival kit: