As the Ultra-Low Emission Zone expands across most of the capital this morning, the controversial charge is already having an impact on many small businesses.
SME owners have cited rising costs as one of their biggest concerns this year with, nearly 1.5 million UK SMEs are considering using personal savings to prop up their business.
This additional charge will likely have a deeply concerning impact on small business, at a time when many are already struggling to keep afloat.
Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business comments on the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone across greater London, “The dramatic increase of London’s ULEZ zone comes at a time when SMEs are seeing sales, profits and cash flow slump – our research found that over a quarter (27%) of small business owners are having to consider using personal savings to prop up their business, and over one in five (23%) seeking a loan from family and friends to help them stay afloat.
“One of the most concerning findings was that a quarter of SME owners believe that they will be forced to cease trading if the outlook for their business does not improve by the end of the year.
“It’s important to underline that SMEs are not reluctant to implement eco-friendly practices. Our SME Insights Report found that over three quarters (78%) of UK small business owners have put sustainability front and centre of their business strategy, but 57% say the cost of going green is putting a halt to their plans.
Many self-employed people will now be forced to weigh up the cost of upgrading or retrofitting their vehicles with the cost of fronting ULEZ charges.”