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Inflation replaces pandemic as top of SME worries

Research shows the UK’s many SMEs are increasingly resilient despite finding new concerns about rising prices.

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Lisa Jacobs/Funding Circle.

Cost pressures are replacing the pandemic as the chief concern of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the UK, according to new research.

More than half (58 per cent) of the UK’s SMEs are more resilient owing to their experience trading through the pandemic. 

Less than half (42 per cent) meanwhile said that withdrawing from the EU has had a negative impact on their business.  

The research from  Oxford Economics, sponsored by Funding Circle, found more than a third (37 per cent) of firms said non-energy costs—with a further 8 per cent citing energy prices— as the most significant issue they face. 

Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) cited falling customer demand, and 8% supply chain disruption.

Almost exactly half of SMEs (49 per cent) said they expected to seek external finance over the coming year. 

“Today’s research shows that despite the challenges thrown at them, the UK’s SMEs continue to demonstrate their resilience time and again. It’s encouraging to see so many business owners feel they have gained vital experience from navigating the pandemic, and are now thinking of their future,”  said Lisa Jacobs, CEO of Funding Circle.

“As economic conditions ease, it’s vital that small businesses are able to access the funding they need to achieve their growth ambitions,” she added.

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