The impact of rising fuel prices on small business is a major contributor to the failure of more than 4,500 companies in the first quarter of 2008, says commercial vehicle website Vansunited.co.uk.
It has found that by October 2008 – when the next 2 pence tax increase is due – the van driving small business community will spend £4.7bn a year on fuel.
Quarter one of 2008 has seen the first increase in business failures for more than 12 months and the average spend on fuel for the van-owning small business is now £4,750 per year – a rise of almost £1,000 in just 12 months.
Now Vansunited.co.uk is calling on the Government to take action by providing fuel subsidies for small businesses as prices continue to sky rocket.
Duncan Colman, manager of Vansunited, said: “In any climate, small businesses cannot afford to pay out an additional £1,000pa towards fuel – this amounts to £1.6
billion extra across the van driving business community, which is ludicrous given the current state of the UK economy.
“We appreciate the impact of the increases in crude oil and are asking the Government to show some leniency and support to small businesses by providing a fuel subsidy similar to that given to hauliers.”