The personal impact of the most challenging economic conditions in living memory was put into sharp focus this week by findings from research conducted by the HR tech firm Sage. The survey of  Small And Mid-Size Businesses (SMB) revealed that more than a third of UK bosses are on the brink of burnout with rising costs cited as a key factor by 36 percent, alongside long-hours (39 percent) and mental workload (37 percent). More than half (54 percent) said that concerns about hiring and retaining staff were affecting their mental health. According to the research, 4 per cent of SMB bosses believe their work is harming their health and 55 per cent have considered walking away. With small businesses employing in excess of 16 million people and the sector considered to be the engine of the economy the broader implications for UK plc are profound. These represent very real concerns for all business owners – but the anxiety levels go through the roof when businesses, such as those in the low stake low prize gambling entertainment sector are unable to share the burden by passing on a proportion of costs to their customers in a way that every other business has. Even fast- food giant McDonalds has had hike the price of its flagship 99p cheese burger due to rising costs. In the Nigel Davis interview, which is featured elsewhere in Coinslot, Merkur UK’s gaming machine industry guru is forthright in his calls for the reintroduction of the triennial review process, which he points-out was originally introduced in order to protect the industry against inflation. He states that its ‘crazy’ that every cost has to be absorbed by the retailer which in turn impacts the bottom line, describing the situation as both ‘archaic’ and ‘fundamentally unfair’. Few in the industry will disagree yet why is this argument so frequently overlooked by our regulators? In the interview Nigel also discussed how resilient the industry is – again few would argue. But what’s also true is that the business has rarely if ever spoken about the personal costs associated with keeping enterprises running and contributing to thousands of local economies throughout the country with one hand tied behind the back and unable to respond to quite extraordinary pressures. Perhaps it should and perhaps then those in power and influence might take heed of the toll that’s being borne by business owners in our industry?