Times are indeed tough for small business and business mortality in the first five years of the life of the business is at record levels.
Here is a great chart that was created and shown to me by ACCA that demonstrates just how difficult it is for small businesses to survive in the long-term.
Only half of the businesses born in 2006 were still in existence five years later. It is easy to see that the failure rate has become even more extreme in the years following 2006 just by looking at the curvature of the lines, with 2010 being the lowest yet.
Hopefully in another five years we will have slightly more positive figures to share!