Half of small businesses do not expect to grow in 2022

Research carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that close to half of UK small firms don’t expect their business to grow over the coming year as a result of the cost-of-doing-business crisis.

The FSB’s latest Small Business Index (SBI) confidence reading stands at +15.3 for the first quarter of 2022, which is down 12 percentage points compared to the same period last year.

Firms in the manufacturing and wholesale and retail sectors report negative readings as supply chain disruption, rising operating costs and surging labour costs affect expansion plans.

National Chair of the FSB, Martin McTague, said: ‘The small business community shrank in size to the tune of hundreds of thousands over the pandemic. With COVID numbers now falling, this needs to be the summer where we start to reverse that trend – policymakers should be doing all they can to facilitate and encourage start-ups and side hustles.

‘The new Enterprise Allowance, which helped move people off benefits and economic inactivity into small business ownership, has now sadly been withdrawn. The government’s own statistics show 500,000 people, including many over-50s, have stopping working altogether – they should be encouraged to start a small business this summer.’

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