The Voice of Local Shops Survey polled more than 1,100 independent retailers across the UK and revealed that 55% of shop owners believe that when compared to the number of hours they work, they earn less than the minimum wage, which is currently £6.19 per hour.
Meanwhile 69% of independent retailers believe they earn less than the living wage of £7.45 per hour.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We already know that retailers are some of the hardest working professionals in the UK, but we didn’t know the shocking extent to which their budgets are squeezed to make ends meet.
“Rising business rate bills, energy costs and increasing competition from small format supermarkets are all contributing factors to the figures, which show how committed and resilient independent retailers are.
“Faced with a tough economic climate, rising costs and competitive pressures retailers are working harder than ever. They do it because they love their job and are committed to serving local communities.”