“After weeks of uncertainty and having received a growing number of calls from our members, expressing their concerns about the rising energy prices we were pleased to hear yesterday’s news, setting out a package of support for businesses and voluntary sector organisations.
Community-owned businesses are creating inclusive, innovative and impactful spaces the length and breadth of the UK. They provide access to vital services, offer employment, training and volunteering opportunities and need help right now to navigate this crisis. The 6 month Energy Bill Relief Scheme will allow for these businesses to prepare for the winter ahead, however we believe that longer term support is still needed.
Given the volatility of the markets and the ongoing situation in Ukraine, businesses will need longer term assistance to manage their energy bills and plan their operations. We recognise that a 2 year package of help, which has been afforded to households may not be seen as an affordable option but we would encourage Government to use the same timeframe as the basis for reviewing the ongoing needs for our sector.
We welcome the Government’s commitment to review the support scheme after 3 months, to identify vulnerable businesses or sectors needing ongoing help. We will be working with partners and other representative bodies to use this review to make the case for continued support for community-owned businesses beyond March 2023.”