Rising fuel costs hit small firms

PetrolSmall firms have seen their fuel costs rise by £17.5 million in one month as a result of record petrol and diesel prices, according to a new study.

Bibby Financial Services estimates the UK's small to medium sized companies (SMEs) will spend an annual sum of £2 billion on fuel in the wake of the huge increase in February.
Small business owners are now spending £451 on average monthly fuel bills, compared with £370 two years ago, said the report.
Andrew Dixon, executive director at Bibby Financial Services, said: "Businesses had been calling out for the Government to use the Budget as a platform to provide support for SMEs in the UK, and freezing fuel duty would make a real difference based on our figures.

"It is a real concern to us that businesses have to shoulder rising running costs, but at the same time are not getting the access to funding they need from traditional routes which would help them offset those costs and manage their cash flow more effectively.

"We believe there should be practical and direct measures taken by the Government to bring down the costs of running a business, otherwise it is hard to see how SME owners are going to start to move closer to economic recovery."

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