12 June 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Business owners delay retirement
Financial Times (print & online): Hugo Greenhalgh
Entrepreneurs are delaying retirement far beyond 65, a new report has suggested.
According to the quarterly survey of small business in Britain, produced by the Open University with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Barclays business banking, more than a third of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners aged over 65 said they did not know when they would step down.
Half the 1,082 respondents said their plans had changed as a direct result of the recession.
Sue Hayes, managing director of business banking at Barclays, said a difference had emerged between small businesses owners and those managing midsized companies. Smaller SME's are "markedly worse off" she said.
But for many, the decision to keep going is borne more out of reluctance to let go.
"As an entrepreneur, money is a driving force, but not the main one" said Kevin Byrne, managing director and founder of Checkatrade, the trade vetting company.
"As one gets older, the focus may vary from business to helping others achieve, and charity work. So in this sense I will never retire".
Stephen Archer, director of Spring Partnerships, a business consultancy, expressed a similar sentiment. "When do entrepreneurs retire?" The short answer is never, he said. However, financial worries exacerbated by the recession remain a factor.
"The economic downturn has created a number of serious challenges for Britain's SME owners," said Rebecca Taylor, dean of the Open University Business School. "The survey findings suggest many owners, particularly those with smaller businesses, are having to make significant changes as they plan for retirement and succession," she added.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Checkatrade helps combat the UK's rogue trader problem by continuously vetting and monitoring local traders such as builders, plumbers and electricians. The idea was born in 1998 after a tornado hit the small West Sussex town of Selsey. Traders poured in from as far away as Liverpool and Manchester. Unfortunately, some ripped off the inhabitants of the town. Local businessman, Kevin Byrne, realised there was nowhere to check out the traders’ credentials and the company that became Checkatrade was formed.
Since then, Checkatrade has grown to include over 6,300 genuine trade members, growing by an average 120 new members every month, and, via the Royal Mail, distributes 5.9 million directories a year into communities throughout Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Dorset and Berkshire, while the website includes traders from across the UK.
PR / Marketing, Checkatrade
5 - 6 Sherrington Mews, Ellis Square, Selsey, West Sussex, PO20 0FJ