The UK infrastructure continues to be a barrier to growth for businesses, and a recent survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has provided some clarity as to just how much.
Commenting for BCC, Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment, said: ‘Businesses rely on the road and rail networks to connect with customers, suppliers and staff. It’s concerning that many businesses believe reliability has worsened in recent years, particularly on the road network.”
Results from the survey, which polled over 1,100 UK businesses, found:
Just 17% of those surveyed thought the rail network had actually become more reliable.
But the insight on the UK’s road network painted a much bleaker picture:
Concluding for BCC: ‘For the UK to succeed post-Brexit, we need to fix the fundamentals here at home. Investing in physical and digital infrastructure is vital to the prosperity and competitiveness of the UK in the future.’
Recent figures have also been released quantifying the impact of the extreme weather in March on the retail sector.
Kantar Worldpanel analysed shopping trends over the last 12 weeks and found that although consumers were ‘stockpiling’ and buying more (increasing average spend by 4%), the cold weather resulted in shoppers visiting stores 5% less. They’ve calculated the loss of sales to retailers as a staggering £22 million.
Understandably people were staying at home rather than face the cold weather but were no doubt impacted by road and rail delays as well.
Unforeseen delays, like the cold weather, can significantly impact on cashflow, particularly for small businesses, if they can’t reach their customers – or their customers can’t reach them.
Short term cashflow issues can easily spiral into more longer-term unmanageable debt. If you are concerned that an unforeseen cashflow issue could significantly impact your business HJS Recovery can help. Talk to us today about the options that will be available to you, to bridge the gap or manage your debt better. Contact us here or call 0800 0141 130.