Category Archives: Other News

44% Of Hospitality Businesses Operating At A Loss

A new survey of 250 senior decision-makers within UK hospitality businesses has found that:

  • 44% of businesses are operating at a loss, with 53% impacted by rising cost of goods and 50% by higher energy bills
  • 70% feel they will have to increase prices to survive, while a third (34%) do not think their business will survive the next 12 months

Over two fifths of the UK’s hospitality businesses are operating at a loss, with the vast majority eyeing price increases during the next year, new research by Peckwater Brands has found.

Europe’s largest virtual food brand operator commissioned an independent survey of 250 decision-makers in senior management positions within UK hospitality businesses (restaurants, takeaways, cafés and bars). It found that 44% are currently operating at a loss.

A third (34%) of hospitality leaders do not think their business will survive the next 12 months, while 70% expect they will have to increase prices within that timeframe.

The study found that more than half of hospitality firms have been negatively impacted by the rising cost of goods (53%), with a similar number affected by record energy bills (50%). A third (34%) are struggling with higher interest rates, while 29% struggle with increased commercial rents. Most (55%) are struggling to find enough staff to operate effectively.

Inflation is not just ramping up hospitality businesses’ costs – the majority (70%) say customers are spending significantly less than they were 12 months ago.

Sam Martin, CEO of Peckwater Brands, said: “Conditions for hospitality businesses are undoubtedly tough, with record food inflation, skyrocketing energy bills and falling consumer spending all having a notable impact. Our research shows lays bare the stark reality; so many establishments are loss-making and many fear for their survival.”

“Unfortunately, the challenges facing the hospitality sector will not disappear any time soon. Raising prices might be the only option available to many businesses, but with consumers wrestling with a cost-of-living crisis and seeking out lower prices wherever possible, this action could damage their customer bases.”

“Just as during the pandemic, hospitality businesses must rely on ingenuity, efficiency and innovation to survive, let alone thrive – they must seek out all opportunities available to them, whether that is to lower costs or find ways of boosting revenue and order volumes, such as improved marketing or operating secondary virtual food brands out of their kitchens. One can only hope that in the coming months, inflation falls sharply and overheads drop, ensuring hospitality firms are not forced to close their doors. If they were, local high streets would be greatly diminished, as would the UK economy.”

New Community Box At Bradford Bulls

In partnership with West Yorkshire Police, Bradford Bulls are delighted to officially open their ‘Community Box’ – situated in the Sekhon Group Stand at Odsal Stadium.

The Community Box will be attended by 10 children each game and hosted by West Yorkshire Police, these are children who would not normally get the chance to attend and watch the Bulls.

This community based initiative brings together local businesses who have funded the community box where children and young people can come together to enjoy the match day experience. The partnership also sees the police Early Help teams working with the Bradford Bulls on matchdays providing refreshments, support and safe environments following successful engagement with local support services.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Farrell of Bradford District Police said:
“The initiative came as part of our wider commitment to neighbourhood policing in South Bradford, working closely with wider partnerships seeking to identify early intervention opportunities for children and young people preventing them getting involved with crime and Anti-Social behaviour.”

“Through positive engagements with the on track programme, young people are rewarded for taking part and they can now see how sport can provide positive lifestyle choices.”

“I am grateful for the support or Arif and Safeer, local business owners who have provided the funding for this initiative and the continued engagement and willingness to deliver an effective partnership from Joe Pitts as commercial director and Tracy Erby as general manager. The partnership is continuing to flourish as we seek to build on this with the Bradford Bulls foundation working with the chief executive, Chris Chamberlain as part of the longer term community intervention work.”

Judith Cummins, South Bradford MP said: “I would like to congratulate everybody for coming together, great to see a positive initiative with Bradford businesses, Bradford Bulls, West Yorkshire Police and Bradford police coming together to make a real difference investing in the future of young people, it is really positive.”

Chris Chamberlain, Bradford Bulls Foundation Chief Executive said:
“This is a massive opportunity that we really welcome, using sport as a tool to engage with young people to make a positive difference in Bradford. These partnerships are really welcome and we look forward to developing this moving forward.”

We would like to place on record our thanks to Smorgasbord Coffee Bar (Arif Mehmood) and International Restaurant (Safeer Khan) for their contribution to this partnership.

Private Collection Of Paintings Set To Be Auctioned

A private collection of paintings from a Yorkshire Estate are to be auctioned in the British, European and Sporting Art Sale at Tennants Auctioneers on 18th March. The collection comes from Denton Hall, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a popular wedding and shoot venue.

Amongst the twenty-four paintings from Denton on offer in the sale is “Cowslips” by George Dunlop Leslie (1835-1921), offered with an estimate of £10,000-15,000 (all estimates exclude buyer’s premium). The picture, depicting a trio of young girls collecting cowslips, was exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1877 and was in the collection of The Rt. Hon. William George Armstrong of Cragside, Rothbury between 1900 and 1910. George Dunlop Leslie was a member of the St John’s Wood Clique, an influential circle of artists who acquired large fortunes and high social status. His early work was markedly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, but as his career progressed, he began to paint in a more academic manner, portraying gentle and pleasing scenes of everyday life. The critic John Ruskin praised his depictions of the “sweet quality of English girlhood.”

A painting by fellow St John’s Wood Clique artist William F Yeames (1835-1918) is also on offer from the collection. Yeames, who set up his studio in Park Place, London, was not a stereotypical bohemian artist; rather he lived a civilised and comfortable existence in a smart house in London and holidayed on the Devon coast. He had a fascination with British history, particularly the Civil War, reflected in the present painting which depicts “Dr Harvey and the children of Charles I at the Battle of Edgehill” (estimate: £7,000-10,000).

According to the catalogue note that accompanied the painting when it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1871, “The Young Princes accompanied their father the King, whilst he waged war with Parliament. At the outset of the Battle of Edgehill, their tutor Harvey, the famous discoverer of the circulation of the blood, took them to a place of safety, as he though, and all absorbed in his meditations, sat down and pulled out his books, and plunged into his studies. It was only when the bullets whistled about their heads that he became aware of the danger to which his young charges were exposed.”

Further notable paintings in the collection include ‘St Paul’s London’, by John O’Connor (1830-1889) (estimate: £6,000-9,000), two floral still lifes by Cecil Kennedy (1905-1997), ‘Romneya’ and “Summer,” offered with an estimate of £6,000-9,000 each, and “Hauling Timber, Loweswater, Cumberland” by Herbert Royle (1870-1958) (estimate: £4,000-6,000).

Amongst the lots from other vendors in the sale are two fine marine works by Yorkshire artist John Steven Dews (b. 1949). Dews was born in Beverley and is one of the most successful living maritime artists. His work has been exhibited across the world, from an early sold-out show in San Francisco to exhibitions in London and New York. Born into a seafaring family, he set up his studio on the Humber Estuary where he studied the ever-shifting waters.

As an avid sailor, he imbues his works with meticulous detail and realism gained from his close affinity with the sea and sailing. On offer are two depictions of legendary racing yachts “Shamrock Racing, Velsheda & Britannia Thames Estuary, c.1930” and “White Heather II battling it out with Britannia off Fishburn, Cowes”, on offer with an estimate of £8,000-12,000 each, alongside a smaller historical scene “Shipping off Sunk Island, 1830”, on offer with an estimate of £800-1,200.

Nutritional Study Gets Underway For Cats Diagnosed With Cancer

A study designed to understand how nutrition can influence quality of life for cats diagnosed with cancer is getting underway this month.

Vet-AI, the national vet-tech firm headquartered in Leeds, has partnered with a leading pet food manufacturer to conduct a study into a food prepared especially for cats with different types of cancer. Pet owners whose cats qualify will be provided with calorie-rich complete food, weighing scales and regular calls with vets via Vet-AI’s digital vet care app, Joii Pet Care.

Vet Sheila Smith, who is leading the study for Joii Pet Care, said:
“This study forms part of our work to shape the future of pet healthcare. Trialling and studying interventions which help pets to have an improved quality of life is essential to making sure that treatments and measures can effectively help animals and we’re pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to pet owners at what is a very difficult time.”

“The aim of the study is to see if food can help cats to maintain body weight and appetite, while measuring their quality of life through the process. Our RCVS-registered vet team will help owners to transition to the new food over a controlled period of time and will be on hand for consultations throughout.”

The study will involve 30 cats throughout the year, with the results then analysed once the study concludes at the end of 2023, in a bid to help shape and inform the future of pet healthcare.

Smith added: “By taking part, owners will be helping their cat, and hopefully many more that have a cancer diagnosis in the future. The food has been designed to be really tasty which encourages them to eat, it’s calorie-rich with essential nutrition and is designed specifically to support their needs.”

Visit here to find out more about how pet owners can participate in the study. Joii Pet Care is also offering a free vet consultation for any pet owners concerned that their cat has cancer symptoms. Sheila Smith added: “Just like human healthcare, early detection and diagnosis is crucial, so we’re encouraging people to get in touch at the earliest opportunity if they are worried their cat may have cancer. Our teams will be able to provide a wealth of guidance, advice and support.”

New Study Into Interference For Trilingual Speakers

People who speak more than two languages are more likely to mistakenly use words from the language they’re least proficient in, new research has shown.

Participants were asked to name pictures in their three languages
The study, led by Dr Angela de Bruin, from the Department of Psychology at the University of York, looked at which of the other languages spoken by trilinguals ‘interfered’ when they were speaking their second language.

Dr de Bruin said: “Intuitively, you would expect these intrusions to mostly come from your most proficient language, for example the first language you grew up speaking from birth. However, our recent research shows that when having to use a less proficient second language, multilinguals actually experience more interference from another less proficient third language than from their native tongue.”

The study, conducted at the University of York and the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, looked at two groups of trilinguals: Spanish-Basque-English trilinguals in the Basque Country and English-French-Spanish trilinguals in the UK.

Participants were asked to name pictures in their three languages in response to a cue. For example, when seeing the picture of an “apple” with the Spanish flag, they would have to say “manzana”. The participants were presented these pictures for a short period of time to make the task difficult.

The team then assessed which language interfered more when trilinguals had to use their second language. In both groups of trilinguals, participants more often accidentally used their third language than their first language, showing that this interference between non-native languages can be found across different trilingual groups.

Supressed Words
The research team also studied why this might be the case. In two other tasks, they tested how participants suppressed words in the other languages while using their second language. They found that the trilinguals suppressed words in their first language more than in their third.

Dr de Bruin says: “This could explain why these trilinguals experienced more interference from their less proficient third language: they might have suppressed that language less, leading to them accidentally using that language instead.”

Many people are able to communicate in more than one language and approximately a quarter of the European population can even speak three or more languages.

Role & Influence
The research conducted by Dr de Bruin is based on personal experience. She says: “When I tried to speak German in Germany after moving to Spain I was trying to buy a bus ticket and I noticed I almost uncontrollably switched between German and Spanish and inserted Spanish words like “por favor” without wanting to. Although my native language Dutch is very similar to German, this interference was not coming from Dutch but rather from Spanish, a language I was far less fluent in.”

She concludes: “This study shows that just knowing words in a language might not be enough to ensure fluent communication. It is also crucial to retrieve the words in the intended language at the appropriate moment and to avoid interference from the other language(s). Trilinguals might have less experience with, or might be worse at, suppressing a less proficient language and might therefore experience more interference from that language.”

“Interestingly, whilst we often focus on the role and influence of a first language, our study highlights the importance of understanding how languages that are acquired later in childhood or adolescence can influence each other. Fluent communication in those languages might not just require a certain level of knowledge in that language but also efficient control over the other languages.”

The study is published in the Journal of Memory and Language

Celebrations For Anne Lister’s Birthday Festival

Organisations across Calderdale and the wider West Yorkshire region are coming together to celebrate the life, loves and legacy of Shibden Hall’s most famous resident, Anne Lister.

The famous landowner, entrepreneur, mountaineer, scholar, traveller, and lesbian, Anne Lister was born in Halifax on 3 April 1791. To celebrate the anniversary of her birth, Calderdale Council is supporting a packed programme of events as part of the Anne Lister Birthday Festival.

The festival runs from Monday 27 March until Monday 3 April and includes over 70 events, ranging from walks, talks, lectures, painting workshops. The full programme and how to buy tickets is available here. Some events have already sold out, so fans are encouraged to book as soon as possible.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said: “The life and legacy of Anne Lister continues to inspire, and we’re delighted to be able to present a full programme of events to celebrate this extraordinary woman.”

“The incredible success of Sally Wainwright’s, Gentleman Jack brought Anne’s story to a wider audience and we’re expecting visitors from across the world to festival events and Calderdale’s cultural venues.”

“Some events have already sold out and we’ve had a lot of interest, particularly from the USA. In fact, we’re already expecting over 300 people to make the trip from the states to Calderdale for Anne’s birthday.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Cllr Jane Scullion, said: “Screen tourism is increasingly important to Calderdale’s visitor economy and the ongoing popularity of the borough as a filming location is bringing further tourism benefits to the area.”

“Gentleman Jack has been a cultural phenomenon and has inspired many visitors to come and walk in Anne’s footsteps and experience our vibrant towns and villages for themselves.”

“The Anne Lister Birthday Festival is an opportunity to explore the places she knew, lived in and visited, and to learn more about her life with new and exclusive events.”

In addition to individual events, Shibden Hall, which was Anne’s home and is the focus of the BBC drama series ‘Gentleman Jack’, will be open daily throughout the festival. Tickets must be booked in advance here, where you can also confirm opening times.

Halifax Minster, where Anne worshipped and was baptised and buried, will also be open every day throughout the festival.

Special events are being held at Bankfield Museum, Halifax Central Library, The Piece Hall and Dean Clough. A special hop-on, hop-off shuttle bus is running throughout the festival, from Halifax town centre to Shibden Hall, Bankfield Museum and Dean Clough on a loop throughout the day.

More information about the festival and other attractions and events happening around the borough, as well as details of where to stay and what to do in Calderdale, is available here

Maritime Community Grant Benefits For Hull

Photo Credit: Festival Of The Sea with Mambo Jambo by Paul J Cunningham.

Hull Maritime has handed out more than £20,000 in grants to support local community groups to deliver maritime themed projects to communities across the city.

The second round of Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme launched in October and received a record number of applications from community groups and residents in Hull and surrounding areas.

Micro grants of up to £500 and small grants of up to £2,000 were available in three categories: Heritage, Environment, and Wellbeing, reflecting important and timely themes and drawing links between our maritime past, present and future.

The first round in 2022, awarded eight projects with funding and included a new sculpture by Art You Experienced, created from community litter picks along the river Hull; helping the Beverley Barge Preservation Society to bring the historic Syntan to Hull Marina and take part in the Queen’s Jubilee Flotilla; and funding to provide information boards to accompany the Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial which is being installed on St Andrew’s Quay.

The latest round has awarded thirteen grants and includes:

  • Tamar and Jo for a community dance project culminating in performances at Edinburgh Street Community Centre in July 2023.
  • Mambo Jambo to co-create a podcast with young people at Ron Dearing UTC and West Hull Community Radio, focused on maritime issues.
  • Twelve Tribes of Yorkshire for a community history project and exhibitions exploring the stories and experiences of local African and Caribbean seafarers.
  • Lauren Saunders for a creative wellbeing course focused on our relationships to water and the maritime environment, to be delivered in partnership with NHS Humber Recovery and Wellbeing College.
  • Three Ways East for a project exploring maritime identity and storytelling through tattoos, using photography, creative works, and exhibitions.
  • Rooted in Hull for a maritime-themed arts, music, and culture event (and associated workshops) in June 2023.
  • Hull Bullnose Heritage Group to support their research on fishermen and trawling histories, focused on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • Fantastic Faces for a collaborative maritime mural to be created within Pearson Park.
  • The People Project for a photography exhibition of sixty portraits and stories relating to Hull’s fishing heritage communities.
  • St Giles Scout Group for a maritime-themed day trip to Hull city centre, taking place in April 2023.
  • The Headscarf Revolutionaries Statue Management Committee to hold four consultation workshops across the city in July and August 2023.
  • Friends of Garrowby Orchard to create interpretation panels for Setting Dyke Community Greenspace, exploring the site’s historic role in flood defences and the future of blue-green spaces.
  • Alex Hunt to work with young people to co-create a mural dedicated to women’s histories of maritime Hull, in partnership with Bankside Gallery.

Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “The latest round of the Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme has had an exceptional response, with a range of creative projects led by our residents covering a vast range of themes including storytelling, dance and music, art, exhibitions, and exciting events.”

“The selected projects will connect our communities with our maritime past, present and future, support skill development and improve wellbeing, as well as helping people to learn more about our city.”

Lauren Saunders, one of the recipients of a community grant, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this community grant, to be part of the Hull Maritime story and to be working with Recovery College students.”

Future rounds of the Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme will take place later in the year.

Hull Maritime is funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, it encompasses the redevelopment of five historic sites in Hull city centre.

Former Apprentice Appears On Top Gear

From an Apprenticeship to the racetrack – former Engineering Apprentice Oliver Hall wows Top Gear viewers with his skills.

Oliver took part in Top Gear’s latest challenge which saw host Paddy McGuiness train a team of young amateur racers up to professional motorsport standard in two months.

Oliver said: “I saw on Facebook that Top Gear were looking for 17-20 year olds with a passion for motorsport to film a segment on the show. We had a number of meetings before I was invited along with 13 others for a test day to see what our driving capabilities were like. Luckily, I was chosen to take part in the episode, which was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m so appreciative to the team at Top Gear and everyone that made it possible and supported me.”

Oliver studied a Level 3 MOET Apprenticeship at Selby College, where he developed his skills in maintaining the safety, integrity and effective operation of plant and equipment in a range of industries.

“The skill I learnt from my Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician Apprenticeship which I’m most appreciative of is Tungsten Inert Gas welding. I have always loved welding since my early days of welding race cards, jigs and trailers at home, and this meant I was able to further my skills. My Apprenticeship taught me a lot about the engineering industry, but I wanted to follow my passion for motorsport and to work in the racing car industry, so I decided to explore further Apprenticeship opportunities in this area,” added Oliver.

Securing a second Apprenticeship with RedBull Powertrains, Oliver now spends his working days building and developing engines for the RedBull Formula 1 race team.

A former Junior and Open Champion in national auto-grass racing, Oliver has always had a passion for car racing and motorsports.

He has recently purchased the Mazda which he drove on Top Gear and will compete in the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup Championship this year. He is currently looking for businesses to sponsor him.

Lorraine Cross, Executive Director of External Partnerships and Development at the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, said: “Seeing Oliver on Top Gear has been incredibly inspiring for our Engineering students and apprentices and demonstrates what can be achieved when you work hard at something. Oliver has combined his passion and the skills he’s learnt through his Apprenticeship to create a lifechanging opportunity for himself of appearing on Top Gear and working in RedBull’s Formula 1 team.”

“This highlights the benefits of hands-on, work-based learning which Apprenticeships deliver and how they enable learners to develop highly technical, transferable skills which are sought by businesses. That is why Apprenticeships are a fantastic option for those who have a passion or skills in a particular area, providing them with the opportunity to get work-based training in their chosen role or industry,” added Lorraine.

This comes as Selby College celebrates the achievements of its Apprentices as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2023, which takes place from Monday 6th February to Sunday 12th February 2023.

Oliver appeared on Series 33, Episode 4 of Top Gear which aired on the BBC on November 20th, 2022.

Find out more about Selby College’s range of Apprenticeship programmes here

Players Recreate Founders First Meeting From A Century Ago

On Wednesday 11th January members of Grassington Players gathered to commemorate the original society’s inaugural meeting, a hundred years ago to the day.

The minutes of the first meeting were found safe in the archives and current Chairman, John Anderson had the inspirational idea to re-enact that first meeting at the exact date, time and venue.

Taking those precious historical minutes as a starting point, fellow player Mark Bamforth painstakingly researched from the 1921 census the ages and Christian names of the attendees who had taken part in the gathering at Yarkers Tearooms in Threshfield back in 1923. He put together a draft transcript which was read by the attendees with current committee members taking on the respective roles of those founding members.

President Mary Wilkinson read May Walker, Secretary Pam Watley-Homes (Hannah Garside), Treasurer Robert Fort (Ernest Pullen), Mark Bamforth read original chairman George Gardner, John Anderson, the Reverend Leighton, Paula Vickers (Hannah Grimshaw), Stephen Lodge (Abram Crabtree), Neil McCormac (John Lunham), Andrew Armstrong (William Walker), Katie Milner (Joyce Maufe), Paul Coultas (Henry Greenhough, Tom Powell (William Dennis) and Jonny Jowett (Arthur Blades).

Grassington Players is interested to hear of anyone with family connections to those original members and would welcome any relevant memorabilia for display at productions during this centenary year.

The small and quite moving celebration at the same tearoom (now The Hedgerow), was attended by several current and former members of the Grassington Players, including the oldest extant members Nan Jowett and Beryl Bamforth. A toast was raised with glasses of sherry to the founding members, to the next 100 years and to Hutchinson family of The Hedgerow for their hospitality.

The gathering heard how the original founders called themselves the Grassington & District Amateur Dramatic Society and agreed to pay an annual subscription of 5 shillings with the aim of raising funds for renovations at the Grassington Devonshire Institute.

Known colloquially as the Town Hall, The Devonshire Institute continues to receive support from Grassington Players today and is the venue for all the society’s productions. A centenary dinner celebration was held there on 28 January with the main hall and foyer theatrically dressed for the occasion with all the glamour of The Great Gatsby by Paula Vickers and her willing recruits.

Material from the archives was on display including old programmes. More than 200 productions have been staged since the society’s inception, with a recurring theme of a few favourites such as When We Are Married, which was revisited for the third time last year.

Over the years the society has performed in drama festivals and graced television screens with news coverage and the series The Dales documenting its staging of the amateur world premiere of Calendar Girls in 2012.

After the buffet centenary dinner prepared by Grassington House, members heard from Beryl Bamforth who’s tenure in Grassington Players dates back to 1966. Over the years she was involved in more than 40 productions, performing, backstage or directing, and recalls how, when she was Secretary, she sent out the 11-year old Mark Bamforth, now 62, on his bike to deliver membership subscription letters. She expressed her sadness that at 89 years old she is no longer able to take an active role.

The Bamforths are not the only generational family in Grassington Players; Joan Whitaker, her daughter Esme (sadly missed) and grandson Will Binns all played a part in the ongoing story of the society, and President Mary Wilkinson, her daughter Zarina and grandchildren Chris and Harriet Belk have been the backbone of the committee for several years.

Mary called for members to pull together to ensure the Players survive for a further 100 years, appealing for more people to learn the backstage craft that enables productions to be staged.

After the speeches, Robert Shield, a dance teacher from Swing Dance in Leeds gave a quick lesson in how to dance the Charleston and many Players took to the floor in fabulous 1920s outfits sourced from the Players own costume store, Ilkley Playhouse, Northern Costume Hire and Colne Hippodrome.

Back in 1923, the society’s first productions were a series of one act plays ‘The Monkeys Paw’, ‘No Servants’, ‘Mother ‘o Pearl’ and ‘If This Should Meet The Eye’. A century on, the Players propose to present three productions including the stage adaptation of ‘Brassed Off’ in collaboration with a local brass band in the autumn and a Ghost Walk around Grassington.

DJ’s & Dance Instructor Businesses Set To Be Fastest Growing In 2023

Latest research from Simply Business, one of the UK’s largest providers of small business insurance, based on analysis of over 350,000 new business insurance policies taken out across 2021 and 2022, identified the fastest growing small business sectors.

In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, a new set of thriving small business industries are expected to experience significant growth after a surge in 2022.


  • The biggest increase came in the number of project managers – with a 71% rise in 2022
  • Meanwhile, a rise in gift shops (21%), DJs (18%), and dance instructors (12%) reflect wider societal trends in creativity, consumption habits, and a continuation of people looking to turn their hobbies into successful side hustles
  • Project managers, DJs, dance instructors and security guards are among the small business types expected to grow fastest in 2023 – as a new wave of entrepreneurs emerge from a year dominated by the cost-of-living crisis.

The findings come on the back of a recent survey of over 600 small business owners, commissioned by Simply Business, which revealed a quarter (26%) of SME owners are worried they simply won’t be able to pay their bills in 2023. As a result, 15% have no confidence in their business heading into 2023 which has left many looking at alternative ways to obtain a source of income.

Project managers were the fastest growing trade in 2022, with a 71% increase from 2021. With the Covid-19 pandemic changing the way people view work, it would seem many are setting up on their own to take advantage of flexible working hours.

Meanwhile, several new forms of entrepreneurship emerged in 2022, with the number of property managing agents increasing by 34%, plus security guards and electrical engineers rising by 22% and 20% respectively.

And could 2023 be the year where creativity flourishes as people turn their passions into business opportunities? There was an 18% rise in the number of DJs taking out policies in 2022, with gift shop owners (21%) and dance instructors (12%) also featuring in the top ten fastest growing small business sectors.

The number of cafe owners surged by 31% in 2022, while the number of food stalls (9%) also grew, building on the increased popularity of outdoor leisure, food stalls and outdoor dining, accelerated by Covid-19.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented: “Small Businesses and the self-employed are vital to the UK economy, accounting for 99% of all British businesses – with most being impacted by the cost of living crisis.”

“Thankfully small business owners have shown resilience, innovation and creativity at every stage since the start of the pandemic in 2020. And as a wave of challenges persist – it’s incredibly encouraging to see this uplift in UK entrepreneurs leading the way when it comes to our recovery.”

“Put simply, our economy and communities need small businesses to bounce back, so it’s heartening to see a new wave of entrepreneurs seizing the opportunity to start up.”