Small businesses are essential to the fabric of our nation. In fact, recent research reveals that they are responsible for 61% of all employment in the UK. On December 3rd 2022, we celebrate their contribution to the UK and encourage consumers to shop locally with the non-commercial campaign Small Business Saturday. Yeah, pretty frustrating
Amidst the burgeoning cost-of-living crisis, it has never been more important to support local businesses. Inflation is rapidly rising, with the Customer Prices Index (CPI) report showing the national inflation rate is at its highest since the report was first produced in 1997, averaging at 11.1% in October 2022. In turn, this presents a number of challenges for small businesses.
Solopress, online printing specialists in everything from flyers and leaflets to stickers and labels, explores five ways to help a small business beat the rising cost of living crisis here in the UK.
Access support from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)
In the face of uncertainty, many small business owners will be searching for ways to collaborate with the wider community. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) bring together businesses, the public, third sector and academia to make this possible. In fact, LEPs support over 2 million businesses.
There are 38 LEPs working towards investing in companies and communities in England. The Cumbria LEP, for example, is putting over £60 million into its local economy. This includes its Local Industrial Strategy, which will continue to leverage for funding until 2030. Not only will this create thousands of jobs for citizens, but it will also enable new businesses space to open and thrive within the area as its economy grows.
If you’re a small business owner living in Lincolnshire, you could become one of the 41,942 businesses supported by the LEP Network. Business Lincolnshire provides expert advice on accessing funding and learning new skills as business owners.
Save money on energy prices by switching to a fixed contract
Energy prices have escalated as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. Shocking data from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed that electricity costs increased by an average of 349% between February 2021 and August 2022.
To address this issue, the government has introduced a six-month scheme that will benefit businesses in the UK. The Energy Bill Relief Scheme will reduce electricity prices to £211 per MWh and gas prices to £75 per MWh. It is worth noting, however, that the level of support will vary depending on whether your business is on a fixed, variable or deemed contract.
If you’re on a fixed contract, you will receive a discount of the difference between your current plan and the government-supported price (£211 MWh for electricity and £75MWh for gas). However, there will be a maximum discount of £345 per MWh for electricity and £91 per MWh for gas if your business is on any other type of contract.