The Federation of Small Businesss (FSB) has, Wednesday responded to the Q3 2017 update from the Bank of England (BoE)’s twelve regional Agents, who have allocated the highest score (+3) to retail goods since Q4 2011, Mike Cherry, the national chairman of the FSB, said:“Confidence among small retailers has dropped over the first half of the year. A combination of inflationary pressure, business rates hikes and an increase in the National Living Wage has left thousands feeling the squeeze.
“Operating costs for small firms are now at their highest in four years. Many are paying themselves less and further increasing prices in an attempt to handle the strain, leaving all concerned with reduced discretionary spending power.
“This Government needs to carefully consider its inaugural Budget. Hikes to stealth taxes, such as fuel duty and insurance premium tax, will place further burdens on our embattled small business owners. It’s crucial that all tax reliefs for our strivers, particularly entrepreneurs’ relief, remain in place as part of fresh legislation. In the meantime, we need to see the 21 August deadline for distribution of revised business rates bills met without any further excuses.”