Inflation and you June 2022

ended 21. June 2022

On Wednesday morning at 07:00, we're getting the latest inflation data. Last week the Bank of England said inflation is likely to exceed 11% this year. If your business or charity is being hit hard by inflation, tell us about it and we'll do our best to get your views and experience of the current cost of living crisis into the local and national media. If you need a prompt, feel free to answer any or all of the questions below.

  • How is inflation hitting your small business/charity, e.g. higher raw material costs, lower sales or donations?
  • Is the current cost of living crisis proving tougher for your business/charity than the pandemic?
  • Is the Government doing enough to help small businesses and charities in the current economic environment?
  • Are you worried about the future of your charity or business?
  • What steps are you taking to try and mitigate the impact of rampant inflation?

Any other thoughts, jot them down. Please keep your responses to 2-3 paragraphs MAX as we are likely to get a lot of responses to this alert.

6 responses from the Newspage community

I'd love to write that the Government's support has been spot on and that it has really helped our small business not only survive but thrive with the opportunity to employ more local people that in turn would help them during the cost of living crisis. Sadly it would be a huge, big fat bare-faced lie as I haven't seen or heard of anything meaningful from the Government during this time. It appears that the Chancellor is burying is head in the sand and hoping for the best as he knows the biggest and best will undoubtably survive with the lower rates of tax and handouts that seems to flow for larger businesses, which is fab, but for us little guys it has become a hand to mouth business that has one business goal: survival. I want nothing more than to give all of our employees a pay rise but supplier cost increases means we have little in reserves to offer out so are compensating where we can with more time off for same pay, passing on wholesale discounts to help with shopping bills and trying to allow home working to save on fuel but being a warehouse this isn't possible very often. We'd very much welcome more help but we'll keep on fighting and doing things our own way until it comes.
"As a small manufacturing and ecommerce jewellery business, I am deeply concerned about the rise in inflation. The past three months have been the toughest in our company's history. In April, sales plummeted by 35% and in May they where flat and June is currently down by 52%. I have been in the retail jewellery industry for 20 years and I have never been more anxious about the economic situation we currently find ourselves in. With rising inflation, the cost of living crisis and consumer confidence being at an all-time low, we are on course for a retail apocalypse if the Government doesn't step in. For my business, sales are far worse now than they were in the pandemic. To try and increase sales we have had to offer more discounts, promotions and develop and craft cheaper products. This of course is not sustainable. With rising business costs and the ever-increasing gold price, we are been squeezed hard from all directions. The government is not doing anywhere near enough to support SMEs during this time of economic uncertainty. They need to act now and reduce VAT to 5% like they did for the hospitality industry during the pandemic. Without immediate action from the Government, the rise in inflation will be the final nail in the coffin of the High Street and many small e-commerce retailers."
Each new day brings a new challenge for small businesses. Rising utility costs, supply chain issues and increased tax bills have created a perfect storm that in many cases means a company's current outgoings far outweigh their income. That simply isn’t sustainable and with the rising rate of inflation, the future for some businesses will hang in the balance. The financial challenges for business are twofold: they must manage the cost of doing business while somehow increasing their wage bills to help the workforce with the rising cost of living. That’s a tall order and the line must be drawn somewhere to help SMEs manage these challenges. The Government simply isn’t doing enough. In our most recent survey, businesses said they were impacted most by the rising cost of supplier materials and stock, and energy costs. Both will be made worse by the rising rate of inflation and both pose a great threat to our economic productivity. Once again, we must remind the Government that the Autumn Statement is too far away to wait for more support for small businesses. They need it now.
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As a small independent boutique, I’ve seen a 60% drop in both online and footfall sales At this rate, apart from putting on another 50% sale, I will not survive another two months. I’ve survived COVID to now be hit with this, which is far worse. Sometimes I wonder what is the point for us little shops. Everyone says shop local but too many local shops can’t compete with the big brands such as Primark, who can afford to lower their prices to reel customers in.
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As an independent publisher, I am very much aware of the rising cost of living and, in some cases, scarcity of paper, ink and transport. This has meant that printing and distribution costs have risen significantly. However, the cost of a book has not risen and, mainly due to Amazon, small publishers are being priced out of the market. Because they are able to buy in bulk from outside the UK, the larger publishing houses are able to meet the lowering prices as they pay less for each printed copy. Independents such as myself are struggling to make money for ourselves and our authors. It also means that bookstores are only selling titles that they have a guarantee will sell, like celebrity-written books. It's a cultural as much as a financial blow.
Every month without fail I find myself empathising with a different customer about how hard they are finding life. How they are struggling to buy petrol, how scared they feel. I’m a gift business with a conscience and I will never turn away someone who just needs to talk and be heard. I will always strive to find a way to help someone whether that’s a payment plan so they can buy their loved one a gift or anxiety advice from someone who has been through it. Not only is the government not helping us in a financial way, they are effectively sponsoring the mental health crisis we find ourselves in. Shame on you Mr Johnson.