Insolvencies reached a record high in the second quarter of last year - a considerable proportion of which are likely to have been SMEs.
But there is hope on the horizon for the UK's small business community. Last quarter saw the number of firms going to the wall decrease by almost 20% on the same period the year before. What's more, new research has shown that record numbers of people are starting up businesses. In fact, the number of entrepreneurs has doubled since 2005 - pretty impressive when you consider how tough things have been in the second half of that period.
And, as if we needed further proof that small firms are thriving, this SME Accelerator special showcases three businesses that are booming. Richard Moross's printing company, Moo.com, hasn't shown any sign of halting its meteoric growth, nor has BrewDog or Mr & Mrs Smith, whose founders told us how they achieve big company PR on a small company budget.
Still, even the brightest and best businesses need a bit of advice and practical guidance, and MT is on hand to deliver that, with our tips on interviewing techniques and on how to handle cashflow. The old adage that cash is king is never truer than when things cut up rough, and anecdotal evidence shows that getting your hands on the elusive cold hard stuff is one area that SMEs have really struggled with of late.
Turnaround expert Nick Hood is also on hand to deliver his advice on how to find investment. He seems to agree with us: the right businesses - with the right people behind them - will get the investment they seek, regardless of the economic climate. It's just a question of how much that finance costs.