5 independent retailers reveal why Christmas planning should start in September With Rakuten Marketing revealing that 48% of shoppers worldwide have already bought Christmas presents, we were curious to find out if the jolly season was as much of a priority for small businesses. __________________________________________________________________________________ Almost a third of small exporters reported falling sales in the third quarter, up from 19% in the same period last year. One in five expect this trend to continue in the fourth quarter compared to 15% last time. Optimism amongst sole traders also dropped to an all-time low with the FSB suggesting that their confidence had been hit by the recent Government announcement that it is reneging on its promise to abolish Class II National Insurance Contributions. This is forecast to cost sole traders an estimated ?1bn in the three years to 2021. ?We haven?t seen a string of negative confidence readings like this since the years immediately after 2009. Small firms need some Brexit clarity before Christmas,? said FSB national chairman, Mike Cherry. ?If we reach the Budget and things are still up in the air, we?ll be looking for additional financial support for smaller businesses as they prepare for life after March 2019. “It?s worrying to see small exporters already reporting a drop in overseas sales over the last quarter. Confidence among the 4.8 million-strong self-employed community has plummeted. This government needs to do some soul searching ? a broken promise on Class II NICs, failure to take full responsibility for delivering a pensions dashboard and threats to the New Enterprise Allowance all have the self-employed once again questioning whether this administration is on their side. ?
Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.