‘Fall in retail sales shows SMEs are at breaking point’

Following the release of the retail sales figures published by the ONS this morning, Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business said: “The unsurprising fall in retail sales clearly underlines the harsh economic climate that SMEs are currently facing. The fact is, many small business owners are at breaking point. The cost of Covid-19 for the self-employed – including lost clients, loss of earnings and loan repayments – sits at a total of over £126 billion. Now the weight of roaring inflation and economic turmoil is being thrust on SME owners’ shoulders. The UK’s self-employed are a driving force behind our growth, and they desperately need a helping hand. Instead, they are being stifled by years of economic uncertainty.

“Our SME Insights Report indicates that small business owners need government support, with three in five calling for a review or reduction of the energy price cap. Why is this important? The UK’s 5.6 million small businesses account for over 99% of the firms operating in the country and contribute trillions of pounds to the economy.

“When addressing the cost of living crisis, the government cannot forget the crucial role small business owners will need to play when it comes to our recovery. If the Chancellor is to deliver on his high-growth, low-tax plans, SMEs need to be front and centre of the response.”