War in Ukraine, spiralling energy bills, the so-called “Great Resignation”, supply chain disruption as yet another legacy of the Covid pandemic, and now a rise in the Bank of England base rate all mean that firms across the county are under significant pressure.
As a result, there is mounting concern about the number of businesses in distress and at risk of collapse.
Business recovery experts Begbies Traynor recently released figures showing that more than 9,829 Lancashire businesses are currently in “significant distress”. Of these, 1,263 are in property and real estate, a further 1,420 in construction and 1,359 in support services.
Babs Murphy, chief executive at the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce which organises the Be Inspired in Business Awards said it was a worry that so many businesses are struggling and that trading conditions look like they may worsen in the short term.
She said: “According to the Red Flag Alert data from Begbies Traynor, somewhere close to 18 per cent of Lancashire businesses are in trouble.
“That’s a major concern for all of us, because firms don’t fail in isolation. The collapse of a business affects its customers, suppliers and, of course, its people, and often leaves taxpayers on the hook for some of its debts.
“We need to see the government intervening where it can in order to try and alleviate some of the pressures businesses are facing."
Babs added that it was important for businesses to continue boosting their resilience in every way they can, from taking cost avoidance measures, making savings and reducing risks to exploring new partnerships, innovating and working more closely with customers and suppliers.
The BIBAs has a category for Most Resilient Business of the Year again this time around.
Created for the 2021 awards to recognise the challenges thrown at Lancashire businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was won by Barry Robinson Leisure (Longlands Hotel).
“Resilience continues to be the watchword for success given current conditions, and we look forward to recognising and celebrating this in September when we hand out an award to the Lancashire business that’s shown the most grit and determination in the last 12 months,” concluded Babs.