Small business seeking finance as late-payment culture grows

More small firms are seeking finance to keep their businesses afloat with cash flow problems being compounded by a late-payment culture revealed in the latest report from the Federation of Small Businesses.

The Q3 Small Business Index saw a fall in small firms’ confidence levels in Q3 with utility bills and fuel prices top of the list in their concerns of rising cost pressures.

The quarterly survey found the greatest level of pessimism among small-business owners outside of lockdowns, with a net confidence score of -35.9 in Q3 2022, down 11.2 points compared to the previous quarter.

Almost half (43 per cent) reported falling revenues over the three months to October, compared to less than a third (32 per cent) reporting an increase. Over the coming three months, four in 10 (41 per cent) expect revenues to decrease.

Rising costs continued to affect the vast majority of small firms (89 per cent), with nearly two in five (38 per cent) seeing costs increase by more than 10 per cent.

The primary cost factors are utilities (60 per cent of respondents), fuel (57 per cent), inputs (48 per cent), and labour (43 per cent).

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