Ahead of the latest inflation data due to be published Wednesday, Newspage is seeking the views of small business and charity owners on how it's impacting them. Just add your responses below for the chance for free media coverage.
10 responses from the Newspage community
"We're extremely worried about the impact of inflation on both our business and personal finances. If people and businesses have less disposable income or money, that translates very quickly into reduced sales. The cost of living is increasing enormously and that means we are being forced to take on work that doesn't pay enough just so we can cover our backs. This is such a vicious circle and it's hard to get out of it especially as a small business owner without any outside help. I'd definitely suggest working on capping the cost of certain types of basic foods and also bills. The increase we are seeing is getting out of hand, with some people reporting over £2,000 for gas/electricity in their next bill. Living with someone vulnerable makes these increases even harder to cope with as essentially one increase impacts another in a domino effect: food, gas, petrol, electricity, broadband and even rent going up leaves very little to live on."
"As a family-run business, we can definitely feel the impact of skyrocketing inflation on our performance and bottom line. Suppliers call every week with new price increases, which is worrying and stressful in equal measure. For now, we have not increased our prices as we have to be in line with our local competitors including some very big chains, but how long we will be able to swallow the extra cost without passing it onto the customer? And if we do happen to put prices up, how well it will be taken by our guests? Will they be able to afford to dine out as much as they do now? Profits are shrinking at the same time as the cost of living is increasing, including petrol and supermarket shopping. We are a family of five and it’s really worrying times. We are preparing ourselves for a recession, as the UK economy is currently facing a perfect storm."
"My profit margins are being obliterated. We’re now effectively making another mortgage payment for gas and electricity and the energy companies are reporting record profits. You couldn’t print how I feel about this."
"This is no cost of living squeeze, it's outright strangulation. The current trajectory of inflation poses an existential threat to independent retailers around the UK. If things carry on like this, the term profit margin will disappear from the English dictionary altogether. The thousands of bricks and mortar retail businesses we work with are having to cope with rising costs across the board at the same time as customers, understandably, are having to rein in their spending as their disposable income is being hit with a sledgehammer. Independent retailers already have five and a half times more debt than they had pre-pandemic, and the rate at which inflation is rising will push many off the high street altogether, impacting communities and people's access to local services. In the absence of Government support, customers need to do whatever they can to support their local businesses. The choice has never been as simple or stark: use them or lose them."
"It's a strange and complex time balancing the books of business and the frightening increase in household expenses. Having a business where both of the income earners rely on profits it's an endless battle of increasing our product costs to ensure we take enough home each month just to cover the basics of living. When we created the business, we had the ambition of wealth building but we are now resigned to the lofty ambition of covering costs and ensuring our employees are paid each month. While business is currently very good, the costs going out the door are never ending and the increase in energy and National Insurance around the corner are yet another battle to fight."
"It's hard to identify a cost that isn't going up at the moment and, as a business owner, it's a nightmare knowing when and how to act. It's important to acknowledge the cost of living increases our customers are experiencing, even I am seeing an increase in my personal energy bill by around £800 a year. This has to be taken into account when making business decisions. As a hospitality business owner, I believe the Government needs to do more for our sector, to support the jobs our industry creates and to protect against some of the incredible cost increases our businesses are seeing. VAT should remain at 12.5% and the business rates burden should be immediate priorities for hospitality, leisure and tourism going into the spring and summer."
"As a sole trader who works from home, many of my business and personal expenses are intertwined. I've been making efficiencies and cost reductions in terms of who and where I buy things from and also thinking really hard about how I do things in the most efficient way regarding energy use and car journeys. It takes time and energy away from focusing on growing my business and can be quite soul destroying after a while. But I'm one of the lucky ones, at least I don't have to make the choice between eating or heating my home as many people are doing these days."
"As a small business, we are agile and do what we can to mitigate cost increases. While we are well aware we have to play the hand we are being dealt, it's challenging as there are a multitude of things incrementally creeping up, which puts pressure on those who work with us, and our clients' bottom lines too. As dynamic and quick-moving as we can be, these things hit our bottom line very quickly and some of our clients are going through a tough time. I'm expecting double digit inflation and for the Bank of England to step in, but I'm not sure it's going to make much difference. People are trying to stay hopeful but behind the scenes the uncertainty is crippling."
"We are a small local charity. If inflation goes up again next month, and with rising costs, like many others in our sector we will be considering whether it remains viable to keep going. Despite the government attempting to step in, of the £750m they pledged over 3/4 of it went into supporting people-based charities, which while not wrong, leaves the under-represented animal rescue charities seriously underfunded, yet still at the receiving end of the effects of rising costs. We are clearly starting to see the knock-on effect of rising rescues as a result of people losing their homes and surrendering their animals due to increased personal costs and expenses, and we expect this to only increase over the coming year."
“The economy is running hotter than a boiling kettle, and many of our clients, especially manufacturing, are being crippled with rising energy and labour costs. As a B2B HR consultancy we don't want to add to their woes by increasing our prices. That said, inflation is much higher on our ‘shit’ list this year, I would compare it to being in a boat with a hole, where we prudently reduce our costs and bail out the water, whilst more water seeps in through the hole. Over the past three months we have seen our office lease, energy, salaries, IT, insurance and bank fees all increase. And that's before Rishi's National Insurance increases in April. At some point we will have to increase our prices too, but we are reviewing our pricing model before we go down this route."