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Ongoing supply shortage causes 9 out of 10 tradespeople to delay projects

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While the UK may be recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chains are still suffering, leading to long lead times for products.

Projects across the UK are being delayed due to the ongoing supply shortage, with 9 out of 10 tradespeople noting that they have delayed a project. 

The study by small business insurance provider Simply Business unveils the devastating impact of the supply shortage, with over 27% of tradespeople saying they’ve had no choice but to delay projects by a minimum of four to eight weeks.

Some tradespeople have had to delay projects even further, with 16% having delayed projects by eight to 12 weeks, and a further 13% have had to delay projects by three months or more.

The supply shortage, caused by a damaging combination of unprecedented demand, tighter restrictions on imports after Brexit, rising costs of materials, and a heavily disrupted global supply chain has left tradespeople across the country facing a staggering £3.5bn loss. Costs are being passed down to the tradespeople and then ultimately the consumer

The report showed that tradespeople have lost an average of £5,598 each as a result of rising material costs and a drop in earnings from needing to turn down work. One in five have lost over £10,000 each.

Overall, 79% of the UK’s 801,000 self-employed tradespeople are affected by the shortages, amounting to a staggering £3.5 billion loss of earnings. 

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented: “The ongoing supply shortage is having a significant impact on tradespeople in the UK at a crucial time in their recovery from the effects of the pandemic. With 79% forced to turn down work in the last three months alone due to shortages, the total loss to self-employed tradespeople is expected to exceed over £3.5 billion.

“This is a huge blow to the livelihoods and dreams of so many tradespeople across the country, but the ongoing situation should concern us all – small businesses are crucial to the UK, contributing trillions of pounds each year in turnover. A £3.5 billion hole in the books of self-employed tradespeople damages the wider economy, and it’s vital that they’re given the support they need to navigate this period of uncertainty.

“Thankfully, we’ve seen remarkable resilience among the trades community throughout the pandemic, and it’s encouraging to see almost half of tradespeople remain optimistic about the future despite current challenges. Tradespeople will play a key role in the rebuilding of our economy and communities, and their resilience in the face of such challenges should give us all confidence that we’re on the right tracks to recovery.”

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