Energy drives up skyrocketing costs for SMEs

Three-in-five small firms cite utility bills, including energy as a driver of their rising costs, according to a survey

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The confidence of small businesses has plummeted amid the energy crisis.

That’s one of the findings of the Small Business Index from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) which has found that small firms’ confidence has fallen again, plunging to a level similar to what was seen during the second Covid lockdown.

Inflation continued to take a toll on small businesses, with nearly two-in-five saying costs were significantly higher than in the same period a year prior, according to the survey.

Utility bills, including energy, were cited by 61% of small firms as a driver of their change in costs.

FSB National Chair Martin McTague said: “There’s no way to sugar-coat these figures – small businesses’ confidence is at its third-lowest level since we started tracking it nearly a decade ago. But business owners are resilient and where there is a will, we will find a way through.

“Helping more people into work, tackling late payment, driving energy efficiency, powering R&D and getting more people to start up on their own are all initiatives that will make a real difference to the economy – just as small business owners individually will continue to demonstrate the ingenuity they showed during the pandemic to find new markets and new ways of working.”

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