UK SMEs Under Siege: Personal Savings and Price Increases in Play Amid Cost-of-Living Crisis

Over 1.5 million small business owners consider leveraging personal savings to stay afloat, with many set to cease trading or increase prices due to the economic downturn.

1 min read

Key Takeaways:

  • About 26% of UK small business owners may have to stop trading if the economic climate does not improve.
  • As a survival tactic, 1.48 million SMEs are contemplating using personal savings to bolster their business.
  • The SME Insights Report highlights that the rising cost of living, escalating taxes, interest rates, and inflation are severely impacting SMEs’ profit margins.
  • Many small businesses are forced to increase prices while consumer spending is decreasing.
  • Rising energy costs and a lack of governmental support present significant challenges for SME owners.

Grim Outlook for UK SMEs Amid Economic Crisis

In a stark picture of economic struggle, more than a quarter of small business owners in the UK may need to cease trading if the business outlook doesn’t improve. To battle the severe financial conditions, 1.48 million SMEs, out of the UK’s 5.5 million, are considering tapping into their personal savings to support their businesses.

Rising Costs and Inflation Squeezing SMEs

The SME Insights Report, published by small business insurance provider Simply Business, revealed that 48% of SME owners see the increasing cost of living as their most significant challenge. Additionally, a majority of 63% agree that soaring taxes, interest rates, and inflation are eroding profit margins.

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Small businesses are stuck in a tight spot – having to raise their prices when consumers are cutting back on spending. Almost half (47%) of UK SMEs plan to increase prices by up to 10%, with another third (36%) hiking prices by up to 20%. The cost-of-living crisis is forcing businesses to continuously find ways to stay afloat.

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Energy Costs and Lack of Government Support Amplify Challenges

SME owners are also struggling with climbing energy costs and inadequate government support. Over a quarter (26%) of SMEs are now spending up to 40% more on energy each month compared to the previous year. Despite these grim circumstances, a surprising 54% expressed confidence in the UK economy’s potential for improvement within the year.

Optimism and Resilience Among SMEs

While the economic landscape is challenging, there remains a ray of hope among the small business community. An impressive 77% of respondents expressed confidence in their business prospects for the next six months. As Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, stated, “The stoic spirit of small business owners is the backbone of the UK economy – their resilience is vital to the nation’s recovery and growth.”


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