“While assistance for households is welcome, businesses will be dismayed at the lack of support for those firms also struggling with their energy bills.  Many have already been hit by steep rises, with further significant spikes expected as existing fixed tariff contracts come to an end in the coming months.  

“Smaller firms are particularly exposed as they have neither the protections or financial support provided to households, nor do they have the negotiating power of larger businesses.  

“Without action, soaring energy bills will force many firms to raise prices further which will, in turn, fuel the cost-of-living crisis for consumers and further drive surging inflationary pressure.  

“The Government should expand of the Chancellor’s rebate and clawback scheme for households to include small firms, as well as delay the impending National Insurance rise. These steps would give firms a better chance to weather the current storm without needing to pass costs through to consumers in the form of price rises.”