• By The Financial District

Small Businesses Grumble As UK Pound Plunges, Import Prices Soar

Like many small business owners in Britain, Harry Niazi hoped for state help to keep his London fish and chip shop going in the face of rocketing energy bills and soaring inflation.


Photo Insert: The pound’s slide is hitting many businesses hard because imported materials and commodities like natural gas that are priced in dollars will be more expensive.



But an economic stimulus plan announced last week by Prime Minister Liz Truss brought no relief — far from it, Sylvia Hui and Kelvin Chan reported for the Associated Press (AP).


For Niazi and millions across the United Kingdom, things went from bad to worse after the promise of huge unfunded tax cuts sparked turmoil in financial markets and sent the British pound tumbling to a record low against the US dollar this week.



“Everything’s based on the dollar — diesel for the vessels to catch the fish, trucks to deliver our products. It has a big impact,” Niazi said from his takeout shop, Olley’s Fish Experience.


The pound’s slide is hitting many businesses hard because imported materials and commodities like natural gas that are priced in dollars will be more expensive. Businesses will likely be forced to pass the costs on to consumers, which would further push up inflation — already close to a 40-year high at 9.9%.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

That would worsen the squeeze on people facing yet another hike in their household energy bills Saturday, even though Truss’ plan capped a more devastating 80% rise as natural gas prices soar.


“I’m terrified of putting my prices up. We have a good volume of customers coming in, we don’t want to lose them, but every day something goes up in price. I don’t know how we’re going to cope,” Niazi said.


Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

The haddock, cod, and other white fish he imports are priced in dollars, and that cost had already surged since July when Britain’s government imposed a 35% tariff on Russian seafood imports as part of sanctions over the war in Ukraine.


Niazi’s concerns about the sliding pound are echoed by other businesspeople like Sanjay Aggarwal, co-founder of Spice Kitchen. The Liverpool-based company sells Indian spice mix gift sets packaged in steel tins from Indian manufacturers. Tins and shipping — his business’s two biggest costs — are both priced in dollars.



WEEKLY FEATURE : MVP Group Keeps Lights On During Pandemic



Optimize asset flow management and real-time inventory visibility with RFID tracking devices and custom cloud solutions.
Sweetmat disinfection mat