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Independents are feeling pressure to increase prices according to Bira study

By Rachel Douglass

26 Aug 2022

Business

Image: Pexels

A new report by the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has found that almost 88 percent of its members, made up of independent retailers, feel as though they are being forced to raise their prices once the anticipated jump in energy price comes into effect this autumn.

The report is the result of a survey conducted by the organisation in August among 47 of Bira’s members and came ahead of today’s Ofgem announcement in which energy prices are expected to jump to 80 percent.

A further 65 percent of respondents said they would be forced to reduce the number of staff or reduce wages, while 40 percent replied that they were considering limiting opening hours. Additionally, almost 23 percent would be looking to permanently or temporarily close the business.

“There has been no specific help coming through from central or local authorities to help businesses who are struggling with their bills which has been very disappointing,” said Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, in a release.

Goodacre continued: “While some areas may have hardship funds or slight reductions in business rates, this is not seen across the country. It is clear to us that businesses are being targeted by energy providers to make up for any restricted price caps on consumers.”

The organisation added that while a business rate relief would be welcome, small businesses would still be paying 100 percent more this year in comparison to last year.

Bira further included an open letter to the two leadership candidates, Rishi Sunak and Lizz Truss, urging them to take action and persuade energy companies to place a cap on energy increases for businesses.

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