Energy costs 'untenable' for SMEs

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Price pressures: delay in help for businesses amid "untenable" energy costs "unacceptable" (Credit: Getty/Henrik Sorensen)
Price pressures: delay in help for businesses amid "untenable" energy costs "unacceptable" (Credit: Getty/Henrik Sorensen)

Related tags NTIA ukhospitality Finance

Further delays in the release of detailed support for businesses “unacceptable” as energy costs become “untenable” for SME’s, the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) has stated.

This comes as yesterday (Wednesday 14 September) saw a Government official announce businesses could have to wait until November for help as part of a £150bn energy support package.

NTIA CEO Michael Kill said: “Annual energy costs under pricing available now are simply untenable for small and medium sized businesses, in fact it was unaffordable six months ago.

Irreversible decisions 

“It is long past time for Government to act quickly, if we are to have any chance of saving jobs and protecting the future of the economy.

“Any further delay in the release of detailed support for businesses is unacceptable. Businesses are making irreversible decisions today, that are impacting thousands of people’s lives.”

“We have now reached such a crisis point that only immediate and large-scale interventions can save huge parts of the sector, with substantial cuts to VAT, an extension of business rates relief and a meaningful energy price freeze for SME’s which is affordable.”

This follows repeated calls from the sector for urgent clarity on business energy support as well a reduction in VAT and businesses rates​, which real estate adviser Altus Group yesterday predicted could reach more than £2bn in inflation​ continued at the same rate.

Wave of price pressure 

Furthermore, a recent poll by the Morning Advertiser​ revealed more than 70% of operators were anticipating their business failing​ by the end of winter​ without the Government stepping in as the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) stated pubs would need to charge upwards of £20 a pint​ to keep up with energy costs.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “To give businesses a chance of surviving this wave of price pressures, we need urgent clarity on the business energy support announced last week, as well as further measures such as a reversal of the VAT increase, and a business rates holiday through to April for all hospitality premises.

“This will help us weather the crisis and give us the opportunity to emerge the other side delivering growth, jobs, and skills across our communities. It will also give us the chance to invest in UK high streets that have been hit so hard since the start of 2020.”

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