Fuel prices are causing trouble to hundreds

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BUSINESSES in the south east continue to suffer as a result of record fuel prices, it has been revealed.

The rising cost of fuel is taking its toll on 28 per cent of firms across the region, figures released by the latest Close Business Barometer showed yesterday.

The news comes in spite of the government’s decision to postpone a rise in fuel duty, originally planned for January.

Rob Harris, local head of Close Invoice Finance, said: ‘From talking to our clients in all sectors, the general consensus is that rising fuel costs remain one of their main concerns on a daily basis. This is having a huge impact on operating costs for firms of all sizes.’

The figures also showed that 24 per cent of businesses are being forced to pass some of these costs onto their customers.

Mr Harris added: ‘This does nothing to help companies who are already struggling to survive, attract new business, or hold on to current customers.’

Firms are also feeling pressure from the economic climate, reduced spending by consumers, and tougher payment terms from suppliers.