Small business contractors are facing cost increases of double the rate of inflation, according to the Business Inflation Guide from More Than Business, the small business insurance consultancy.

The guide reports that in the second quarter of the year alone, builders, electricians and plumbers were hit by cost increases of 4.2%, largely a consequence of rises raw materials and fuel prices. The annual figure is 11.1%, according to the guide, developed with Warwick Business School.

Mike Bowman, of More Than Business, said: “The top priority for small businesses should be to review all suppliers and negotiate prices and payment terms.”