09 Jan 2023
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged the government to outline how small businesses will be supported with their energy bills once the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) expires in March.
Research carried out by the business group found that one in four small firms expect to close, downsize or change their business model if support with energy costs completely ends after March.
Almost half of small firms surveyed by the FSB said that they have had to increase prices to partly cover soaring energy bills.
Tina McKenzie, Policy Chair at the FSB, said: 'With the current scheme ending in three months, it's been impossible for small firms to plan their 2023.
'We've heard countless examples of small businesses on the brink of collapse because of sky-rocketing energy bills and the lack of assurance from the government on energy support, from the bed and breakfast in the Lake District that has closed for the winter to bring down bills to the fish and chip shop in the East Midlands which would fall into the VAT system, adding yet more cost, if it raises prices to cope with energy costs.
'We want to see an extension of the energy support scheme which takes into account the size of the business, rather than one focused on specific sectors.'