Businesses have said a freshly announced energy bill relief scheme will prevent thousands of firms going bust, but further support may be needed down the line.
The scheme will offer firms a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices and apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.
Businesses including pubs and other small firms have welcomed news of the intervention and dubbed it as a “lifeline” for bosses this winter.
However, more support would be needed to tackle inflationary pressures impacting hospitality businesses, Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said.
Industry chiefs have called for the Chancellor to announce measures to slash taxes on hospitality businesses at the emergency mini-budget happening on Friday.
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) warned that a measure to cap wholesale prices to energy supply companies “may not result in sufficient relief being extended to business customers, given that energy suppliers remain free to impose additional mark-ups such as network charges and operating costs, which are uncapped.”
“The net result of this could be a position where small businesses are still being asked to pay unaffordable energy bills of several hundred percent more than in previous years, which is clearly not sustainable,” he added.
The announcement was welcomed by the CEO of City Pub Group, with Clive Watson praising the government for issuing support “in reasonable speed.”
However, Watson also called for a VAT cut to five per cent for six months, to help operators who have been struggling with labour, food and construction costs, as well as high energy bills.