Small businesses: always last in line?

Small businesses: always last in line?

The cost of doing business in the UK is about to get higher and the small businesses driving the UK’s economy will pay the price.

The cost of doing business in the UK is about to get higher

This past week, small businesses have been confronted with the prospect of rising business rates and higher energy prices. The water market will deregulate in April, but it may not benefit small businesses at all. And as if that weren’t enough, Brexit looms in the background – the great unknown.

Individually, all of these things could cause major problems for small businesses. Together, it’s clear that businesses are facing some major headwinds.  Small businesses look set to bear the brunt.

Small businesses – always the last to benefit?

Just a few weeks ago, water market deregulation was being hailed as a major benefit for small businesses. SMEs facing high prices and poor customer service would be able to switch to any water supplier they liked and save a substantial amount of money.

Unfortunately, water market deregulation isn’t looking like that anymore. Large companies using a lot of water seem set to benefit straight away, with savings of up to 2-4% available.

Small businesses might be able to save around £80 per year when switching their water supplier after deregulation. If you’re running a small business, you’ll rightly be asking yourself, “Why bother?”

Of course, there’ll likely be bigger benefits to small businesses further down the line.  But that doesn’t help small business owners and entrepreneurs in the here and now.

“The backbone of our country”

Britain’s small businesses need all the help they can get. Britain’s economy is powered by small businesses, providing people with jobs that allow them to provide for their families. In fact, over 99% of businesses in the UK are classed as SMEs – but looking at government policy, you wouldn’t know it.

Water deregulation represents another missed opportunity by the government to extend a helping hand to the very companies that enrich our communities and deliver so much to the country.

Why is it that muddled government thinking forces our small, often family-run businesses to swim continually against the tide?

Brendan Flattery

Posted by on Tuesday, the 21. February at 11.34

Brendan joined Utilitywise as CEO on 1 October 2016. He was previously at The Sage Group plc for 13 years, where he held roles including CEO, UK & Ireland and Managing Director, Small Business & Mid-Market Divisions. In his role as President, Europe he was responsible for leading a 7,000-person business unit operating across 11 countries and generating annual revenues of around £800 million from a customer base of more than two million. Before joining Sage, Brendan held senior positions at Yates Group plc, Intercare plc and Park Group plc, and has also run his own small business.