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Rising business costs

Business costs are increasing. Find out who to turn to.

Businesses in Northern Ireland have seen many of their critical costs increase significantly.

Who can help?

The most important first step is to review your business and take earlier action, for example, look at payments going out of the business and see if there is anywhere you can cut costs such as unutilised subscriptions or services. There may, however, be other areas to review with additional support available.


Energy & Fuel:

  • The Consumer Council have developed a Business Energy Price Comparison Tool External link icon to allow businesses to compare electricity and gas business tariffs available in Northern Ireland.
  • As energy bills and operating costs continue to rise, introducing more energy efficiency in the workplace can save money. The Energy Saving Trust External link icon has a guide to help.
  • nibusinessinfo has 10 tips for saving energy External link icon:
  • Help reduce travel costs External link icon including switching to electric or hybrid vehicles, using the cycle to work scheme, introducing fuel cards or even making changes to how you drive.
  • Power NI External link icon offers around 20% funding through under the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP) to help NI businesses install energy efficiency products or upgrade lighting with Power NI Lighting Solutions.
  • Make sure you have applied for tax deductions External link icon on all vehicles linked to your operations (if eligible).

Property:

Rates support packages External link icon have been announced for 2022-23 which outlines that:

  • business properties with a Net Annual Value (NAV) of £2,000 or less will receive a reduction of 50% rate relief
  • business properties with a NAV of more than £2,000 but not more than £5,000 will receive 25% rate relief
  • business properties with a NAV of more than £5,000 but not more than £15,000 will receive a 20% rate relief

Staff:

We are now seeing the real impact of increased inflation on take home pay leaving many people struggling. As a business owner, it can be difficult to balance the expectations of staff with financial continuity of the business. A few things that might help:

  • Be transparent with your staff about what you can do to support them with things like bonuses, pay rises, or support for commuting costs.
  • Many of the items employees buy while doing their job – fuel, food, drinks and supplies – are now more expensive. Using a business credit card for expenses can help improve cash flow and ensure you pay expenses more quickly so employees are not out of pocket.
  • Check that you’re using the employment allowance External link icon to reduce National Insurance liability by up to £5,000.
  • Make your staff aware of support that is available from local organisations – you can find more independent sources on our personal Money Worries Hub
  • Invest NI run regular events including Training Needs Analysis External link icon, designed to help you identify the skills to teach staff in order to strengthen your business during challenging times.

Supply chain:

With the effect of Brexit still lingering, coupled with new inflationary challenges, supply chain disruption and costs can significantly impact your business. There are some things you can do to help mitigate this:

  • Keep your pricing policies under regular review and negotiate on pricing with suppliers or look to alternative suppliers
  • Invest in efficiency improvements where possible

Seek advice from local organisations such as Invest NI and InterTrade Ireland when necessary

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If you’re concerned about rising costs within your business, speak to your relationship manager or small business adviser directly or use our webform to request a call back.

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