Tue, 30 Nov 2021

LONDON, England: Businesses in England and Wales failed at a rate 56 percent higher in September than any month since the pandemic began.

Company bankruptcies in September reached 1,446, compared to 1,349 in August and 56 percent higher than September 2020, according to the Insolvency Service.

Officials note that in September many businesses suffered through rising energy and labour costs, along with reductions in Covid government support.

Among those companies that permanently closed in September were energy companies Utility Point and PfP Energy, musical instrument maker Roli, as well as chilled food delivery firm EVCL Chill.

Meanwhile, Claire Burden of the professional services firm Tilney Smith and Williamson warned that increasing energy prices will "reverberate into additional sectors" and push more companies, especially those in manufacturing and consumer goods, into near insolvency or to close down.

"This will cause further failures when combined with existing pressures of increased transport costs and supply issues," Burden said, as reported by the BBC.

Additionally, the Bank of England reported, earlier this month, that one-third of small businesses in the UK are "highly indebted", with debt levels more than 10 times their cash balances.

"The additional pressures facing businesses today, with higher inflation, staff shortages, increasing energy prices and the need to repay Covid-incurred debt, is likely to increase the number of insolvencies over the next 12 months, " said Matt Richards, a restructuring and insolvencies experts at accounting firm Azets, as quoted by the BBC.

Also, an HM Treasury spokesperson noted that the government provided aid to UK businesses valued at £400bn in support, including through the Plan for Jobs scheme.

"It's working - two million fewer people are now expected to be out of work than previously feared and the number of redundancies remains near a seven-year low," the agency said.

"We're also unlocking investment through the £20bn a year super deduction, the biggest two-year business tax cut in modern British history, while £650bn of private and public infrastructure investment will support 425,000 jobs over the next four years."

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