A Glasgow florist has shared her fears for the future of small businesses as the cost of living soars.
According to a new Chambers of Commerce survey, three-quarters of businesses are expected to raise prices over the next three months – with a tenth of companies reporting recruitment difficulties.
Half of all companies are also postponing their investments in the next quarter, with retailers reporting the lowest levels of confidence since the start of the pandemic.
It comes as soaring prices are set to hit Scots even harder in the pocket in the coming months, with the government facing calls for action to help struggling families.
Glasgow florist Lesley Anne Baird, who runs Stalks and Stems, said it was becoming “increasingly difficult” to have a business.
She told STV News: ‘It’s through the board, really. You see it in your energy costs, the cost of all your deliveries, it has a huge impact on the cost of the things you want to bring in. Some things we just can’t get.
“Even drivers are hard to get right now. Much of it is double or more. It’s a scary business.
She added: ‘Because the flowers are perishable, it doesn’t help. You cannot have it on your shelf waiting for it to be purchased. You must buy sharp and sell quickly.
“Flowers are definitely a luxury item – it’s difficult. If people can only afford bread and milk or flowers, they will buy bread and milk. This is definitely a worry for any business moving forward right now.
Charandeep Singh, deputy head of the Scottish Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘The cost burden on business at the moment – while they are exceptionally resilient through what has been a turbulent time over the past few years – they feel the pinch now.
“Earnings are squeezed, investments are frozen and unfortunately prices have to rise for consumers.”