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Sector warns on energy prices

The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that rising energy prices are pushing cafes and restaurants “to the brink”.

FSB director Martin McTague told The Independent: “How is an independent cafe supposed to find another £20,000 a year to keep the lights on and the coffee machine going, when they are barely breaking even as it is?”

The comments came as UKHospitality, BBPA, Music Venue Trust, Night Time Industries Association and BII all wrote to the government asking for support on the issue.

The letter read: “Hospitality operators face average annual bill increases in excess of 300%, putting at risk businesses and jobs. It is also increasingly clear that a significant number of energy providers have withdrawn service provision from the hospitality market altogether.

“The primary purpose of a free market for energy supply to businesses is to create competition, which leads to improved services, competitive rates, resilient suppliers, and the ability to invest in long term and sustainable solutions to energy demand. In the hospitality sector, there is unequivocal evidence that this primary purpose is failing.

“Hospitality provides 10% of jobs and 5% of GDP. It can be a powerful driver of economic recovery and growth for the nation, but it urgently needs a kick start. Business and consumer confidence is suffering, and we urgently need the government and the leadership contenders to outline a support package for the sector.

“We urge you not to allow the stasis of party politics to stifle the urgent delivery of action on energy.”


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