Two thirds of Midlands businesses see bills rise through 'no fault of their own'

Business owners in the Midlands had seen an increase in two-thirds of their bills and essential business expenses in the past 12 months even before the latest energy bill rises.

All industries are facing the same problems.
All industries are facing the same problems.

A new survey commissioned by BusinessRescueExpert, the independent insolvency practice, found economic conditions were worsening for businesses across the region and in every industrial sector.

Electricity and gas bills had risen for 84.2 per cent of firms, fuel and transport costs for 81.5 per cent, staff pay for 71 per cent and rents for 60.5 per cent .

Four out of five of the 500 directors, chief executives or business owners who responded said that along with their energy bills increasing several other essential charges have risen during the previous year.

The only area that saw an overall decrease was spending on advertising and marketing, which is discretionary and done by the business themselves.

Chris Horner, insolvency director with BusinessRescueExpert, said the survey is a valuable snapshot of this moment when businesses were expecting to experience a large rise in energy prices and other bills but before support measures from the new Prime Minister were announced and implemented.

He said: “The past two years have seen unprecedented trading conditions for directors and business owners that were forced on them through no fault of their own.

“Now Covid-19 appears to be behind us and it should be a time to recover and recuperate, instead most of us are looking at unprecedented rises in essential energy bills unless there is some drastic intervention from the new administration.

“But even if energy bills happen to be frozen, we can see that lots of other essential costs have also risen for companies, making their job of making a profit and a positive contribution to the economy just as difficult as it was during the pandemic years, if not more because there is currently no additional support measures to help them.

“We’ve been looking at the troubles facing pubs and restaurants recently and as our survey shows, businesses are having to deal with exactly the same issues no matter what industry they’re in or no matter where in the country they’re based."

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