The NFRN is calling on the government to extent its £350 package to help households cope with a rise in energy bills to small businesses.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday (3 February) announced the package after Ofgem revealed that the new energy bill price cap will rise by 54% from April. This means energy prices will rise by £693 a year for millions of households after regulator Ofgem hiked the price cap on bills to £1,971.
NFRN National President, Narinder Randhawa, said: “Independent retailers kept Britain going during the lockdown, but now it is essential that the government helps us. Our 11,000 members are facing a string of cost hikes in April, with increases to minimum wage rates and national insurance contributions, the reintroduction of business rates, and now rocketing gas and electricity bills.
“To satisfy customer demand and to keep everyone safe, our members’ stores contain chillers, freezers, EPoS, bright lighting and CCTV. As each year passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to cut these costs. Members in town and city centre locations have also seen footfall drop during the lockdown and as workers continue to resist calls to go back to the office.”
Randhawa added: “We will be writing to Rishi Sunak to ask him not to turn his back on independent retailers and to give us help and support as our bills rocket.”