Businesses issued a warning by charity

A charity is warning small businesses across Northumberland to seek free advice if they are struggling to cope with their debts, after it was revealed that there were 900 business deaths in the county last year.

The Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs Business Debtline, says that many local sole traders and other small business owners are leaving it too late to seek advice.

The warning comes after new figures showed the struggles facing many businesses in the local area.

There were a total of 900 so-called business deaths, or de-registrations, in Northumberland throughout 2013, according to the Office of National Statistics.

At the same time, 1,215 businesses were created – however around one in four new businesses in the county, which equates to 24 per cent, do not survive to see their second birthday.

In the Alnwick area, for example, there were 125 business deaths in 2013, and 145 births, or registrations, in the same year.

The two-year death rate in the area is below the county-wide average, coming in at 21 per cent.

Figures show it is a worse state of affairs in the Berwick area, with the two-year death rate at 33 per cent.

There were 80 registrations in 2013 and 115 births in Berwick.