If ever there was any doubt about how tough conditions were for UK businesses, latest figures show that the number becoming insolvent in the final quarter of 2018, hit the highest quarterly level since 2014.

Both the total number of new company insolvencies as well as underlying total insolvencies have reached their highest levels since 2014. Alarmingly, almost 1,000 self-employed individuals were declared bankrupt in Q3 of 2018.

These unwelcome statistics highlight the plight of UK businesses. Small business are particularly badly affected, as they are less able to absorb and adapt to the many changes and uncertainties at play in local, regional and national economies.

UK becoming an expensive place to do business

These include a relentless increase in the costs of doing business – from employment costs, unfair business rates and burgeoning red tape. Then there’s the significant uncertainty around the UK’s approach to exiting the European Union, which is problematic for exporters to, and also those who import goods from, the EU.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that the self-employed community, who are 4.8 million-strong, are still denied basic support in too many areas.

Plus, latest research from the Federation of Small Businesses has highlighted the fact that Small businesses are having to spend 15 per cent more on the likes of taxes, levies and employment obligations than they were six years ago. Our other recent research shows that small business confidence is at its lowest level since the wake of the financial crash.

This is all undeniable evidence that Too little is being done to support the wealth creators in the UK. Costs are going up. Confidence is going down. Closures are becoming all too common.

It’s an unsustainable situation and one that needs urgent attention from policymakers at all levels.

Much of this damage is avoidable. However once done, it cannot be undone.