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Businesses across the UK are recognising the need to 'future-proof' by seeking support and advice to build their business resilience and guard against unforeseen challenges, according to new research.

Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) funding partner Ultimate Finance found that 58% of SMEs have invested in resilience in some form over the last 12 months, with another 25% planning to do so in the next 12 months.

With the number of company insolvency figures in the UK reaching its highest level since 2014 last year, Ultimate Finance said that 80% of SME owners believe a lack of resilience in the UK economy will have a negative impact on their business. But 45% feel that building their own professional resilience was key to their success.

Steve Noble, chief operating officer at Ultimate Finance, said: "We often think of resilience as the ability to bounce back from disaster but that doesn't cover the whole story. Resilience is also about being prepared and guarding against future challenges as well as having the courage to ask for advice and support when making plans to tackle whatever is on the horizon.

“We know from our work with thousands of small businesses, that SMEs are starting to take measures to improve their resilience and our research substantiates it. As Brexit looms and the British economy remains on shaky ground, UK SMEs are preparing for the worst while getting on with everyday business.

"Essentially, they are demonstrating the very essence of what it means to be resilient, as they attempt to overcome challenges. They can be time poor and resource light, which limits their capability to build their resilience in a way that truly safeguards their future. Our aim is to highlight the challenge and provide resources that will be genuinely useful for SMEs up and down the country.”