Energy costs hitting consumers and small businesses alike

Constantly increasing energy costs are hitting small businesses hard and causing the most damage out of all overheads, research by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has revealed.

Together with spiralling inflation, small businesses continue to find themselves under increasing pressure from uncontrollable external influences.

The FPB are calling for energy firms to be subject to a code of conduct, which would treat small businesses similarly to domestic customers, which could include a cap on back billing as well as fairer contracts which prevent businesses being rolled onto more expensive deals without any knowledge.

94% of the FPB’s members had reported increased energy bills in the last year, with 92% reporting a rise in transport costs and 82% a rise in the price of raw materials.

A more disturbing figure from the not-for-profit company’s survey showed that 82% of companies said rising costs were impacting adversely on their business.

The FPB went on to recommend further measures to aid small business and SMEs suffering from rising costs, which included a fuel duty escalator, reductions in VAT, National Insurance and other taxes and simplifying the tax system, more thorough red tape reform and changes to employment law.