A small business owner in her 60s says she is already working 70-hour weeks to stay afloat after the government unveiled fresh energy bills support.
Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg announced plans to slash the cost of wholesale gas and electricity for non-domestic customers for six months from October 1.
Linda Anderson, co-owner of The Kitchen Croxley in Croxley Green, said: “Two days ago it was worst case scenario, and now we’ve finally got some good news, but we have to look at exactly what it does for us. ”
The government cap will mean the “supported wholesale price” will be £211 per megawatt hour (MWh) for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas – around half the projected price on the open market.
One megawatt hour is around the amount of electricity needed to run two fridges for a year.
The 63-year-old cafe and cake shop owner said: “A business like ours does use a lot of energy, costs are still high, so we need to be careful.
“We have a very large oven and mixer, and we need people to be comfortable, so we need to put things like the heating on.”
The mother-of-four added: “We are just holding our breath at the moment so we will then get down to number crunching and exactly what it means.
“Until recently I would say we were doing really well, we are a successful local business.
“We weren’t making a fortune, but we were doing well and employing local people.
“I should be looking at marketing and expanding operations but instead I’m doing washing up myself to cut costs.
“Can you really be expected to work 70 hours a week past 60?”
A government review will take place in three months that will look at support to be made available after March.
Mrs Anderson, who owns the business with her husband, said other costs such as ingredients have risen at the same time, adding to a constant string of exceptional costs going back to purchasing Covid safety equipment.
She said: “In hospitality people have started to live with the uncertainty now, we just have to take it day to day.
“After eight years we are proud we are still here.”
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