Desk report: There are growing fears that 2023 could see a wave of company collapses as the cost of living crisis continues.
The number of firms on the brink of going bust jumped by more than a third at the end of last year, said insolvency firm Begbies Traynor.
It expects this number to rise due to higher costs and consumers cutting back their spending.
Paul Jones, co-founder of brewery Cloudwater Brew, said the pressure felt like a “never-ending nightmare”.
Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, said it was receiving an increasing number of calls from businesses owners like Mr Jones who were concerned over whether they could carry on.
Mr Jones said his Manchester-based company has been in survival mode since March 2020, with high costs, debt, low consumer confidence and post-Brexit trading problems all bearing down on the business.
“The cost to me has been pretty bleak,” he said. “I have a heart condition from stress and I feel constantly on the edge of what I can personally cope with.”
His thoughts have turned to closing his business “probably once a month since 2020,” he said.
“I feel like continuing is either not possible or not worth it,” he said. “We’re going to keep going. What else can we do?”
But he remains downbeat about business prospects in 2023.