When this article appeared in the Sunday Times on 4th Jan 2009 it ran under the headline 20% of small firms to go bust. Comments on the Times Online website include
What a shambles of arithmetic and journalism!
Given that the average lifespan of an owner-managed business is 8.5 years, we can expect nearly 12% to cease trading every year anyway.
The new headline just isn’t very scary and was one of the most obvious examples of “bad news” Britain. Come Easter the sun will come out and the mood will lift.