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An SME report has shown a mixed bag across industries, with some not expecting to grow due to the cost-of-doing-business crisis and a widening sectoral optimism gap.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has released its latest quarterly Small Business Index (SBI), revealing a confidence reading that stands at +15.3 for Q1 2022. The figure is down 12 percentage points on the same period last year but is up significantly on Q4 2021 (-8.5).

The industries that are the most optimistic include accommodation and food (+16.5), and those involved in information and communication activities (+32.1).

Manufacturing (-9.1) and wholesale and retail (-8.2) firms report negative readings as surging operating costs, supply chain disruption, labour shortages and consumer belt-tightening have had a negative impact on expansion plans.

A staggering 87% (a record high) of SMEs say that operating costs are up compared to this time last year. Fuel (60%), utilities (58%), and taxation (27%) are cited as the main contributors to this increase, following the hiking of national insurance rates and issuing of new business rates bills this month.

Thinking of appointing Dolan Accountancy?

Give us a call on 01442 795 100 or email jaime.thorpe@dolanaccountancy.com.

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FSB National Chair Martin McTague said, “It’s encouraging to see small business confidence back in positive territory, though the picture across sectors is distinctly mixed.

“The small business community shrank in size to the tune of hundreds of thousands over the pandemic. With Covid numbers now falling, this needs to be the summer where we start to reverse that trend – policymakers should be doing all they can to facilitate and encourage start-ups and side hustles.

“As things stand, spiralling costs are eroding small business margins at a rate that many have never experienced before, whilst workplace absences are making it hard to operate at full capacity in a tight labour market. At the same time, new paperwork and supply chain disruption are weighing on our importers and exporters, and an endemic poor payment culture continues to destroy thousands every year.”

To find out more about contracting please contact Jaime on 01442 795 100 or email jaime.thorpe@dolanaccountancy.com.

Why Thousands of Contractors Choose Dolan Accountancy

With over 25 years experience in contractor accountancy helping thousands of contractors, freelancers and the self employed, Dolan Accountancy has the specialist skills, reputation and credibility you can trust.

Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795 100 or email sophie.lewis@dolanaccountancy.com or jaime.thorpe@dolanaccountancy.com.

We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With IR35 Legislation changes we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – We offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few
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