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Jubilee boom for small business amid inflation worries

The extended Bank Holiday to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee will give Britain’s small firms a much needed revenue boost.

The closely-watched Barclays SME Barometer suggests three in five small business owners are expecting to see revenues higher this year than last, helped by an anticipated spending spree over the coming week.

But around three quarters say that rising living costs, energy bills and inflation are a long-term concern for their businesses.

Firms are being squeezed by increases in their input costs at one end and a recessionary environment at the other which makes it harder to pass on price rises to consumers.

Colin O’Flaherty, head of the SME division at Barclaycard payments, said yesterday “the jubilee will provide a welcome and much needed confidence boost to many SMEs, as consumers look to celebrate, support local businesses and make the most of the four-day weekend.”

Independent pubs, bars and restaurants are expected to see a £76m uptick this weekend as a result of Brits toasting the Queen’s good health over a drink. The British Beer and Pub Association are anticipating as many as 90m pints will be poured during the four-day festivities, with licensing hours relaxed to ensure revellers can take advantage of not having to set their alarm clock.

Hospitality businesses have been hit hard by pandemic-related lockdown restrictions over the past two years, with trade bodies calling for temporary Covid-19-era tax breaks to be introduced on a more permanent basis to allow firms to receover from months of lost revenues.

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