Challenges facing UK owner-managed businesses in 2023


Challenges facing UK owner-managed businesses in 2023

This page was last updated on July 26, 2023
A new survey of owner-managed businesses finds many continue to struggle with inflationary pressures and are frustrated with the lack of Government support.

In a client survey conducted by the Association of Practising Accountants (of which Shipleys LLP is a member) 532 businesses across 15 sectors and 11 UK regions relayed the challenges they currently face.

The research – Maintaining resilience in a tougher economic climate – captures a representative sample of the challenges, aspirations and concerns of owner-managed businesses in 2023.

Survival rather than growth

While the sector as a whole is generally resilient, many businesses are still in survival or steady-state mode rather than looking to grow. A lot continue to struggle as a result of inflationary pressures, cost of living challenges, energy price volatility and an uncertain economic outlook.

Subsequently, there is real frustration among business owners at the lack of resolve from the Government to help tackle the issues they face. The overarching message from our research is that uncertain trading conditions are hampering competitiveness and, while there are multiple causes, not enough is being done by policymakers to support owner-managers. A case in point was that 77% of owner-managers rated Government support as either poor or very poor. 

Key findings


Download: Maintaining resilience in a tougher economic climate

Background to the survey

The Association of Practising Accountants (APA) is a network of leading professional and business service firms providing support to over 14,000 businesses across the UK.  Following on from its research in previous years, this latest study examined current trading conditions, inflationary pressures, the ongoing impact of Brexit, as well as policy measures needed to help support owner-managed businesses.

The survey was conducted between 6 June and 6 July 2023.  

Along with other APA member firms, Shipleys will be taking these findings to Government and policy makers to ensure that they are prioritising resources where it is most needed to ensure the sustainability of owner-managed business across the UK. 

Specific advice should be obtained before taking action, or refraining from taking action, in relation to this summary. If you would like advice or further information, please speak to your usual Shipleys contact.

Copyright © Shipleys LLP 2023

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