SME bosses forgo pay rise

More than half of small business owners have denied themselves a pay rise over the past year to cope with difficult economic conditions, according to a study by Abbey Business Banking. Owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an annual turnover of up to £250,000, were the most likely to deny themselves a rise (55%), compared with 37% of larger SMEs.

Most were unlikely to impose similar cutbacks on to their staff. Just 15% of the 300 businesses surveyed said they had had to deny staff pay increases over the past year, and 10% said they had been unable to pay their employees a bonus.