We asked: Is the Government Energy Support Enough?
No respondents felt that the government support was enough and would help small businesses stay afloat. 20.8% of retailers responded that it was a help for now but that they weren’t sure it was going to be enough. 79.2% responded that even with the cap they were being squeezed too tight.
We asked “What has the impact of the government support been on your store?”
A store in Scotland reported that the government initiative “Took bill down from 400% increase on last year to about 200%” and a North West based store reported that the government support “Helped a little, but [bills are] still a massive amount per month. We’ve had to increase prices across the store.”
Some retailers are concerned that energy prices are leaving them cash strapped – A West Midlands based store reported they were “Just about keeping afloat - don’t know for how long”. A store in Wales commented “Started too late and as such, the cost has already impacted the viability of the business. the support for October’s bill has made a great difference but I fear for the future, once the support ends.”
We asked “What do you think needs to happen to continue the energy support?”
A store in Wales commented “The government should robustly curb the manipulation of the energy market - and in so doing, will negate the need for support. Otherwise they will need to extend & enhance the support - or face the real possibility that the high street will be filled with only tumbleweed.”
One retailer from the South West responded “I think the way prices are calculated need to be overhauled. I have solar panels, led lighting, energy efficient fridges and more insulation than I need I've always had a sustainable tariff, but that counts for nothing. Everything has gone up, but wind, solar haven’t suddenly become 5 times more expensive. it's just not fair.”
A store in the East of England said “We really do need more help; I am only a small business they need to keep the cap on for small businesses”. A West Midlands based store summed up how their community is likely to feel if the energy crisis hits rural businesses: “Small businesses need help especially when they are the heart of their community.”
141 stores from all over the UK completed this survey