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Monday, 19 January 2009

More firms closing down

By Jessica Lim
OVER 130 Singapore small business closed down last year, a nearly 25 per cent jump over 2007 and the highest number since the dotcom bust seven years ago, according to new Government statistics.

The deepening recession has apparently claimed everything from fruit stalls to shoe shops, and experts say more small companies - which usually have little margin for error - are poised to wind up in the coming months.

Almost 40 per cent of the 131 small business that shut in 2008 went belly up from September through December, numbers from the Ministry of Law revealed.

The late year surge - which accompanied the onset of the recession - pushed failings above the total for 2007. It marked the first annual increase since the dotcom bust of 2002, when over 260 businesses bit the dust.

No details were provided on which sectors were worst hit or the reason for the increase, but experts said it is a sign that the recession is taking hold.

The downturn began in earnest in September after stock markets around the world crashed, and the local housing and export markets withered.

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