“SMEs struggle as energy prices soar”

The average SME now pays £64,383.10 annually for energy and fuel, according to a report

Nearly 22% of SMEs postponed significant business investments due to increased energy and fuel costs last year.

That’s according to research by Simply Asset Finance examines the impact of rising energy prices on UK SMEs in 2023.

The study estimates that the average annual cost for energy and fuel per SME is £64,383.10.

Despite the introduction of the Energy Bill Discount Scheme in April 2023, 57% of SMEs are unaware of available financial support, according to the report.

Mike Randall, Chief Executive Officer at Simply Asset Finance, said: “The New Year often brings with it hopes for a fresh start and ambitions for the future, but SMEs across the UK are still reeling from the challenges of the past year. On top of rising inflation and interest rates, businesses have been subject to an energy crisis which is still hindering the growth of over a fifth of UK firms to this day.

“With the Autumn Statement offering little in the way of future support for SMEs, it is imperative that the government considers some form of continuity in the upcoming Spring Statement. In parallel, it will fall to lenders to bolster these firms in helping them identify how they can still achieve their business goals and show tailored flexibility in helping them move to a position of growth.”

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