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News

Energy support for business a step in the right direction

Energy

The UK Government has announced a multi-billion-pound energy support plan for businesses in response to soaring costs expected this winter.

However, without a long-term plan for business survival and growth, the British Chambers of Commerce South West (BCCSW) says that sadly, many businesses will still not survive the current cost of living crisis.

For months, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has been calling for Government intervention to help businesses with eye-watering energy costs.

This support package is significant and will ease the cost pressures that have been piling up on businesses. 

It is understood this new scheme will be reviewed after three months, with an option to extend the support for “vulnerable businesses”.

But the exact level of support will vary greatly from business to business depending on the detail of its contract, so some will inevitably do better than others.

The BCCSW represents thousands of companies here in the South West. The organisation’s Chair, Stuart Elford, said: “Businesses in the South West will be heartened to hear that the Government is offering support for what has been a terrifying concern for many.

“The exponential rise in energy costs comes after businesses have struggled through Brexit, the pandemic and labour shortages. Without a long-term plan for business survival and growth, sadly many will go to the wall.

“So, while this is a welcome step in the right direction, businesses will be eagerly awaiting further news from the Chancellor.”

Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC, added: “We now need action to get this saving passed onto business as soon as possible – every day will put some firms closer to the edge and they cannot hang on much longer. There must also be effective legal oversight to ensure no firms that are due this money miss out.

“For those that will benefit, six months support is not enough to make plans for the future. We understand there are a range of unknowns for the Government in looking ahead, but without further reassurance very few firms will make plans to invest or grow.

“Some businesses will still struggle to meet their bills despite this government intervention, the Chancellor must prioritise those firms in his mini-budget on Friday.

“There are a range of other challenges that must be addressed including labour shortages, supply chain disruption, and rising raw material costs.

“To truly revitalise our economy for the difficult months ahead, then there must be a clear long-term plan that gives business the confidence to grow.”

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