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SME Data Hub

Each quarter 1,000 UK SME owners across a range of sectors, regions and sizes, are surveyed by specialist independent researcher, Kantar, on Close Brothers’ behalf.

Use the drop-downs to select a year and quarter to look at the data we collected at that time.

Accessing the data

This data is free for you to use. All we ask is that you credit 'Close Brothers Asset Finance' if you do use it.

Select the year/quarter: Each 'wave' was collected at a specific time. Just select from the drop-down (above) the year/quarter you wish to view. 

Choose a question set: Below you can also choose different question sets to select data about a specific category or topic. 

Filter the data: Use the filters on the right to see the results split by gender, location, turnover, and industry. 

Compare data: If the same question has been asked in other years/quarters, you can use the drop-down underneath each chart to see how results have changed over time.




of firms agreed that there are 'real benefits' to employing older workers


Published August 2019

Despite SMEs overwhelmingly understanding the benefits of employing older workers - with their experience being particularly valued along with their ability to mentor more junior members of the workforce - most felt that the recruitment process discriminated against older workers. This caused half of those polled to admit to already struggling to recruit the talent they need or to foresee problems in the future. The larger the business, the bigger the concern becomes.


With one third of the current workforce already over the age of 50, does your workforce reflect this statistic?

yes 58.4%
no 34%
Unsure 7.6%

With one third of the current workforce already over the age of 50, are you confident of recruiting the talent you need in the coming 5 years?

Yes, I have no concerns 51.9%
Yes, but I foresee problems in future 35.4%
No, I’m already struggling to recruit the talent I need 12.6%

Are there benefits to employing members of the so-called ‘ageing workforce’?

Yes, they bring with them huge amounts of experience 52%
Yes, they mentor the younger members of staff 35.4%
No, we find it too difficult to manage a multi-generational workforce 6.3%
No, they’re too set in their ways 6.2%

Do you feel older workers looking for jobs are discriminated against (often inadvertently) in the recruitment process?

Yes, the recruitment process favours the younger workers 66%
No, it’s a level playing field 24.8%
Unsure 9.2%
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