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Entrepreneurs Panel

Tony Caldeira
Jeremy Roberts
Charlie Mullins
Steve Purdham
Debbie Pierce
Brian Hay
Richard O'Sullivan
Julie Meyer
David Pollock
Jennie Johnson
Michael Oliver
Laura Tenison

Rising fuel costs “barrier to growth” for many businesses

Rising fuel and utility costs have been described as the main obstacle to growth by 32 per cent of businesses.

According to a report by insolvency trade body R3, 26 per cent said that a reduction in consumer spending is one of the main problems preventing growth.

Lee Manning, R3 president, said, “Businesses depend on utilities to operate, making it hard to cut costs.

“With consumers unwilling to spend, businesses will be increasingly concerned about their margin. At least access to credit has slipped away as an issue, perhaps businesses are deleveraging where possible and getting used to life with reduced access to credit.”

However, despite constant reports from business owners stating that they are struggling to raise finance, just five per cent of respondents identified an inability to secure further credit or a bank loan as an issue.

In addition, the number of companies reporting redundancies fell from ten per cent in November 2012 to five per cent in the latest survey, the equivalent of 81,000 businesses.

And 20 per cent of firms reported declining sales in the latest survey, compared with 31 per cent in November.

By Kirsty Hewitt

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