Delta blues have left our business owners battered and bowed, weighed down by months of lockdown and prolonged restrictions across the country.
The Spring Pulse Check shows a fifth of business owners are ready to give up and sell while those struggling on want greater clarity from Government, firm policies and more support.
Alfredo Puche said: “Results show we’ve reached a watershed moment. Confidence has plummeted, going from ‘great’ in our Winter Pulse Check to ‘grim’ this time around. Frustration and dissatisfaction have set in and business owners are full of trepidation over the future of the economy.
“There is a strong feeling that Government isn’t listening and this has compounded the very pessimistic outlook.”
Cash flow is under pressure and, with the sharp rise in input costs, most business owners intend to raise their prices. Good management is easing the ever-deteriorating supply chain issues for some but with more cash tied up in inventory, others are struggling as they fall further behind.
Problems caused by worker and skills shortages are on the rise and there’s a clear divide between businesses who have sorted out their vaccination policy and those who want guidance and support from Government on the issue.
Alfredo added: “Well publicised supply constraints and increasing freight costs are hitting business owners in the pocket, with most intending to pass on those increased costs through price rises of their own. The road ahead seems destined for some tough economic times with inflationary pressures combining with rising interest rates, a difficult labour-supply situation, and inevitable business failures following prolonged lockdowns.
“We are really concerned about those business owners who are feeling more isolated as they deal with ever-increasing pressures and would urge them – along with any of their contacts or colleagues – to get in touch so we can provide help and support in the difficult times ahead.”
The Pulse Check is run as a regular monitor of the sector. The Spring edition surveyed 727 of our members and associates between 27 October – 1 November with a confidence level of 90% and a 5% margin of error.