East Midlands businesses react to ‘catastrophic’ energy price cap hike

Image by Magnascan from Pixabay

Business owners have reacted with alarm at the news this morning (August 26) that the energy price cap will increase from the current £1,971 to £3,549 from 1 October.

We asked small business owners and charities in the East Midlands for their thoughts on how it will hit them as a business and personally, and what the Government should do.

Natalie Bamford, CEO of Derby-based Colleague Box, said: “This is just another dagger in the heart for small business owners. The crushing realisation that no matter what you do, your performance, sales, your deemed success will inevitably be out of your hands and instead controlled by the greedy corrupt few at the top who only care about profit. The reality is that those in power couldn’t care less about small business owners so you’re left to fend for yourself, hope and pray that you make it through yet another avalanche of adversity.

Rhys Schofield, managing director at Belper-based Peak Money, said: “It’s catastrophic. The Government isn’t just asleep at the wheel, it genuinely feels like they couldn’t care less about the plight of normal people and businesses. They botched Brexit, they botched the response to COVID and now they’re botching handling the cost of living crisis.”

Mansfield-based Lewis Shaw, founder at Shaw Financial Services, added: “Welcome to our winter of discontent. We are utterly rudderless in a storm with nobody on deck taking charge. This has all the hallmarks of serious civil unrest if we’re not careful. People are already stretched beyond breaking point, which will be the last straw. The worst thing is that even an emergency budget won’t be able to tackle the crisis due to the time it takes to get through Parliament and the OBR. With further base rate increases to contend with and another price cap hike in January, it’s fair to say our economy is broken, and we’re teetering on the brink.”

Ryan Joyce of Nottingham-based Key Mortgages said: “This will undoubtedly have an impact for consumers as we are not talking about a slight increase, we are talking about hundreds of pounds a month which will cause a squeeze for anybody. I expect to see a shift in how much consumers are able to borrow as lenders will no doubt adjust their affordability calculations. This will mean people cannot afford the houses they would like to buy and therefore demand for property is likely to fall. However, what we may also see is people being unable to afford their mortgages when their fixed deals end due to rising interest rates, which may cause people to look to sell and downsize.”