Nucleus Commercial Finance: Impact of cost-of-living crisis on SMEs



Almost three quarters of business leaders are concerned that the cost-of-living crisis could put their company’s future at risk, research from Nucleus Commercial Finance has revealed.

The survey from the alternative business lender also found that 23 per cent of respondents fear their company will not survive the financial year due to the economic climate, while nine per cent expect their business to close in the next five years if the situation does not change.

The biggest concerns cited by 1,000 surveyed UK business leaders are the rising costs of fuel and energy, amid soaring prices due to the Ukraine crisis.

Read more: Small firms struggle to access finance while a tenth turn to P2P

Unlike domestic customers, businesses are not covered by the government’s energy price cap which could mean even higher costs in the future.

Other concerns cited by respondents included cash flow, employee retention and transportation costs.

The majority of business leaders also expressed worries that the cost-of-living crisis will impact them indirectly. 68 per cent of respondents in senior management roles said they expect to lose customers, as they believe that people will not be able to afford their products or services anymore.

Read more: Business insolvencies increase amid spiralling inflation

“With costs sharply rising for both businesses and consumers, it’s no surprise that leaders across the country are worried about the survival and growth of their company,” said Chirag Shah, founder and chief executive at Nucleus Commercial Finance.

“Our research has shown the price of fuel, transportation and energy, as well as cash flow and employee retention seem to be the most concerning aspects for UK businesses right now.

“While this is no doubt a challenging time for many companies across the country, there are measures that leaders can take to potentially ease the pressure and help with at least some of these aspects.

Read more: New FSB chair hails benefits of P2P

“For example, if energy bills are a big concern at the moment, you may want to review your premises and whether your current establishment is the most cost-efficient option for your business.”

Shah added that companies could encourage their employees to work remotely for part of the week to cut back on office management and running costs, or could review their suppliers to find better pricing options.