Energy Bill Relief Scheme
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has conducted research indicating that the imminent conclusion of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme poses a threat to the future of hundreds of thousands of small firms. As the support for energy bills is set to be significantly reduced from April 1, the FSB warns that approximately 370,000 small businesses, which secured fixed energy deals last year, may be forced to downsize, restructure, or even close due to the higher prices they will face next week.
Concerns over Energy Bills:
With the upcoming replacement of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme, scheduled to come into effect next month for a year, small businesses will receive less support. While market prices have stabilized for firms currently fixing their contracts or on variable tariffs, the FSB highlights that those who secured fixed deals last year will experience substantial price increases, as they remain locked into higher rates prior to the government’s relief measures.
Implications for Small Businesses:
The diminishing support for energy bills presents significant challenges for small firms. The sudden rise in costs following the expiration of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme may force businesses to make difficult decisions. Such as downsizing their operations, undergoing restructuring efforts, or, in extreme cases, closing their doors altogether. The financial strain resulting from these increased energy prices threatens the viability and survival of many small enterprises.
Advocating for Greater Support:
The FSB emphasises the need for continued support and relief measures to protect small businesses. They urge the government to address the disparity faced by firms that fixed their energy deals last year. Small businesses now find themselves subject to substantial price hikes. By providing more comprehensive and sustained assistance, policymakers can alleviate the burden on small businesses. They can also safeguard their long-term stability.
As the countdown to the end of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme begins, small businesses are bracing themselves for the potential fallout. The reduced support and anticipated surge in energy costs may have far-reaching consequences. Necessitating difficult choices for many firms. The FSB’s research underscores the importance of implementing measures to mitigate the impact on small businesses. It ensures their survival and contributing to a resilient and thriving economy.
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