And yet there are plenty of ‘ideas to help your business’…
Businesses in the South-West are doing well: “The South West continues to thrive as a region” – Vision Group for Sidmouth
But how well are small businesses doing in the South West?
It seems that more of us are shopping locally – especially this time of year
There may also be some good news for smaller independent shops according to a recent survey from Nucleus Commercial Finance which showed that more people in the UK will be doing their Christmas shopping from such outlets as compared to previous years. The main reason for shopping locally seems to be a concerted effort to support independent retailers although saving money and buying better quality products are also important factors in this decision.
And the county council is also doing its bit:
“Any business that is based in Devon, has been operating for more than six months and takes pride in buying from and supporting other Devon businesses can apply to join.” The Made in Devon website has both a Find a Local Business page and a Love to Shop Local page, which ensures that consumers are purchasing from trustworthy Devon companies.
It’s tough, though:
Britain’s small business owners are among the hardest working people in the country with many up before the milkman and still going long after the DJ has played their final song, a new report shows. Nearly half of bosses (44%) work more than 50 hours per week while a third (37%) start work before 5am – a time better known to milkmen.
And it’s about to get tougher:
Bosses of small and medium firms fear their businesses will not survive 2023 because of the financial crisis, according to new research from Vodafone Business, UK.
Small business owners across the UK fear they will be hit by a triple whammy of soaring costs, shortage of labour and dwindling consumer spending, from which they may not recover. Almost three-quarters of owners and managers in the survey say they have real fears for the future, with one in ten saying they may not survive the year at all.
The study of small and medium business owners found that the rising cost of fuel and power (57%), staff wages (34%), broadband and phones (32%), rent/mortgage (32%) and transport/distribution (30%) lead their list of concerns going into 2023. To help reduce costs and save money, almost half of all SMEs said they were turning down the heating and switching off lights, while one in four planned to ask staff to work more days from home.
And the challenges for ‘green’ small businesses will be particularly high:
Sustainable traders have described the “relentless challenges” they faced in the run-up to Christmas.
“Green” business owners point to the cost of living, Royal Mail strikes and people losing sustainable shopping habits during the pandemic. Their struggles come as the UK is predicted to face its biggest drop in living standards on record as wages fail to align with rising prices.
Tina McKenzie, chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said “green” firms had “faced their fair share of challenges”. She called for more support for these firms, including vouchers to help with measures like insulation or heat pumps.
A spokesman from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said this was a “difficult time” for small businesses and they remain “firmly on their side”.
There are certain things way beyond the control of small businesses: Brexit is not working, say small businesses – Small Business UK
And yet – there are plenty of ‘ideas to help your business’, as with this series of pieces put together over the last week: News – Sustainable Sidmouth Champion Awards