R3 revealed in its Business Distress Index that 37 per cent of the businesses it questioned are experiencing falling bottom lines - compared to only seven per cent of large firms experiencing the same.
Furthermore, 24 per cent are frequently turning to their maximum overdraft limit to help finance, throwing weight behind the suggestion that access to finance is becoming more difficult.
Lee Manning, R3 President, said: "Investing in a small business is arguably less attractive to investors compared to a venture into a larger business due to the monitoring requirements of a smaller loan being the same as a significant investment in a large business.
"Therefore, the resources required are often disproportionate to the anticipated returns."
Meanwhile, taxpayers and small businesses are being reminded that the deadline for online 2011-12 self assessment tax return submissions is January 31st.
Posted by Thomas Fletcher