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Recent data from a comprehensive survey highlights the growing economic pressures facing UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Conducted by insurance provider Simply Business, the survey of 1,070 UK SME owners and self-employed workers delves deep into the struggles of today’s economic climate and its adverse impact on the backbone of the UK economy – small businesses.

According to the SME Insights Report 2023, a concerning 26% of small business owners express fears that they may have to cease trading if the economic outlook does not improve by the end of the year. This pessimistic outlook is echoed by nearly half (48%) of those surveyed, who identify the escalating cost of living as their most formidable challenge. Furthermore, over half (52%) of these businesses expect to witness a drop of up to 20% in profits in 2023, painting a grim picture of the near future.

The survey also brings to light that a staggering 63% of small business owners feel the sting of rising taxes, interest rates, and inflation, which they report as significant factors eating into their profit margins. Alarmingly, over a quarter of the respondents are now spending up to 40% more on energy each month, as compared to the previous year.

Reflecting on the findings, Jonathan Portes, senior fellow of the Economic and Social Research Council & professor of economics and public policy at King’s College London, notes two prominent themes. The first highlights the continuous pressures borne by SMEs from the wider economic environment. The second theme, however, shines a light on the resilience and the indefatigable spirit of the sector despite the economic hardships.

In fact, over half (54%) of the surveyed small businesses remain hopeful that the UK economy will see better days this year. As many as 77% of the respondents express confidence about their business prospects over the coming six months. This showcases the tenacity and determination of UK’s SMEs in the face of adversity.

Moreover, these small businesses aren’t simply weathering the storm but are proactively implementing resilience measures to ensure survival. A significant 62% plan to increase their prices in the next six months, while almost a quarter are consciously holding off employing new staff or expanding their businesses. With an alarming £32.1bn owed to small businesses in late payments, many SMEs are resorting to personal savings, bank loans, or borrowing from family and friends to stay afloat.

As Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, rightfully puts it, “Small businesses sit at the heart of our communities and are vital to our economy. It is essential that we continue to support them in these times of financial uncertainty.” The resilience demonstrated by these small businesses is indeed remarkable, serving as a testament to their unwavering strength and determination.

This testing period calls for everyone involved in the small business ecosystem to stand up and extend their support to help businesses confront these challenges. As a critical stakeholder, Flip Runway Distribution understands the importance of its role during these turbulent times. We’re not just a paint supplier; we’re your partner in growth and resilience.

Recognising the increasing pressure on small retailers in the creative retail space, we’ve made adjustments to better support you during these times. We understand that managing inventory can be a challenge, especially when economic conditions are tough. To ease this burden and foster your business growth, we’ve reduced the startup kits and required stock levels to help you maintain a sleek inventory.

You can now become a stockist of Fusion Mineral Paint for as little as £485 plus VAT, an affordable investment for high-quality, desirable products that your customers will love. For those interested in becoming a stockist of Cling On Brushes, we’ve made it even more accessible, with the opportunity available for just £150.

At Flip Runway Distribution, we’re committed to providing high-quality paint brands at your fingertips, 24/7. We aim to help small businesses navigate these economic hurdles and come out stronger on the other side. By offering an extensive product range, a supportive team, and the tools to learn new skills, we can help shape the direction of your business and increase your profitability.

In these times of uncertainty, we assure you that Flip Runway Distribution is here to help you step up your business and delight your customers. Your fight against the odds is our fight, too. We believe that together, we can not only survive but also thrive in the face of adversity. Join us in this journey and let us contribute to your business’s success story.


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