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Cost of living information for business

Businesses continue to face many challenges.

An uncertain economic outlook, cost of living crisis, and global instability is leading to a number of issues, including volatile energy costs, inflation, supply chain disruption, staff recruitment and retention issues.

It can be hard to know how to move your business forward when you're dealing with so many challenges at once. Acting quickly, keeping on top of financial commitments, and controlling costs can be a good place to start.

This page offers guidance to help you build business resilience and access the support you need at this challenging time.

Cost of living information for business

Cost of living information for business


The Autumn Statement 2023 included a number of new announcements which will have an impact on businesses.

Key decisions include:

  1. The freeze on Business Rates multipliers will be extended to 2024/2025.
  2. The Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure (RHL) 75% rates relief is extended for one year into 2024/2025.

Full details will be available on the Business Rates pages once the government has provided all the legislative information we need.

For information about Investment Zones and Middlesbrough Development Corporation, contact Tees Valley Combined Authority.

You can visit GOV.UK for tools and guidance for businesses if you run a business, employ people, or are self-employed.

You can read the full Autumn Statement on GOV.UK.

Energy and energy-efficiency


The government has announced a new Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) from April 2023 to April 2024 for eligible non-domestic consumers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The current Energy Bill Relief Scheme came to an end in March 2023. It supported businesses and public sector organisations like schools and hospitals by providing a discount on wholesale gas and electricity.

You might benefit from changing suppliers to get a better price, so use comparison sites to find the best deals. You can also speak to your supplier to see if your business could save by using more electricity outside peak periods.

Energy-efficiency measures in your business can reduce costs now, and help you invest in more efficient clean technologies for the future. The Net Zero Innovation Centre in Middlesbrough can support SMEs to transition towards a net zero future

Citizens Advice also offer useful tips and information on what to do if your small business can't afford its energy bills.

Large companies may qualify for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

Cost of living


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) finance hub offers practical guides and tips on managing business finance and guidance on the cost of doing business crisis.

British Business Bank also provides guidance on how businesses can tackle the cost of living.

Finance and cashflow


Looking for payment plan options and relevant financial support is useful to help manage business cashflow.

The British Business Bank's Recovery Loan Scheme helps UK businesses to access finance to help investment and growth.

Accountancy and business support firm Azets UK has provided a financial defence toolkit to support your business through the expected economic downturn.

FRP Advisory has a comprehensive guide to tackling inflation and managing rising costs.

Commercial property


Consider your rent and rates for the commercial property you operate from. Speak to your landlord about your rent and the council's rates team as soon as possible if you’re having difficulties.

You may be able to get a payment plan in place for your rent, and your business may be eligible for small business rates relief. Find out more about business rates payment and discounts.

Debt management, insolvency, and restructuring your business


If you're worried about insolvency or feel that restructuring your business may increase resilience, specialist support can help. Cash flow problems do not always result in insolvency - get professional support from your accountancy firm and professional business services. FRP Advisory can offer a free initial chat to talk through your situation.

You can find out more on The Insolvency Service website.

Market research, supply chain, and new markets


Diversifying your offer into new markets can help you to build business resilience. Market research tools (including GrantFinder) can help you find relevant information and research intelligence.

The Department of Business and Trade provides funded guidance, events, and overseas trips to help you increase sales and enter new markets.

We want to work with our local markets to provide as many opportunities as possible. There are rules we have to follow when we're buying products or services, but you can find out more about selling to the council in the commissioning and procurement section.

Events, networking, and professional business support can help your business make the most of supply chain opportunities. Visit the Tees Valley Business website to find out more.

Business support


If you're a Middlesbrough-based business and you'd like to speak to an officer in more detail about your business circumstances, email invest@middlesbrough.gov.uk.