Question to the HM Treasury:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to help tackle inflating overhead costs for small and medium businesses in rural and isolated communities.
As the global economy recovers, many economies are experiencing high inflation, in part due to pressures from rising energy prices and disruptions to global supply chains. These global pressures are the main driver of higher inflation in the UK. We understand the pressure that higher costs place on businesses up and down the UK, and the Government’s commitment to price stability remains absolute.
We recognise the impact rising energy prices will have on businesses of all sizes. Ofgem and Government are in regular contact with business groups and suppliers to understand the challenges they face.
The government has also already provided substantial support to small and medium sized businesses through the pandemic such as business rates relief and the Recovery Loan Scheme for SMEs. Over the past two years we have taken unprecedented action to protect millions of businesses. There are over 400,000 more people on payrolls, investment is rising, and monthly business insolvencies have only recently returned to normal after sitting 25% below pre-pandemic levels since April 2020.
We are also supporting SMEs to improve their growth and productivity through our innovative Help to Grow programme. Help to Grow will support over 100k SMEs to access subsidised leadership and management training and productivity-enhancing software.
We will continue to monitor the wider situation very closely and there is extensive engagement across government on the matter.