Wendy Timewell, manager at Hotel Wroxham in Hoveton, Norfolk, says she is “very relieved” help has been announced. She says: “I’m absolutely delighted the government has stepped in and is helping business throughout the country.
“I haven’t looked at the finer points but it looks promising.”
At the moment the hotel pays about £35,000 a year on its energy bill but was told by its supplier the bill would have gone up to £170,000.
She says it “was a real concern [for me] and everyone working at the hotel”.
“It looks like our bills won’t be going up so considerably and it’ll be a real lifeline for us,” she adds.
Rick Sheepshanks, managing director of Stokes Sauces based near Woodbridge, Suffolk, says the announcement of support was not a “huge surprise”.
“It’s very welcome and I think it’ll be hugely beneficial to businesses,” he says.
“I think businesses were in a dodgy place and it’s alleviated that worry and concern, so now life will go forward.”
He says the package will not only help his business but also “the people who supply us with the raw ingredients – we’ve seen big price increases and shortages of products”.
“All of these things have compressed and made difficult trading conditions,” Mr Sheepshanks says.
“I think there’ll be a lot of people taking a metaphoric big breath”.
The help from the government is set to last for six months and he says “the general feeling is that in six months’ time a lot of things will have changed”.
“It’s exactly the right thing for the government to do, it takes away the fear,” he adds.
Adrian Groves, owner of Red Kite Art and Framing in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, says he has been trying to cut his energy bills but cannot use less electricity.
“It’s not possible in a business like this which is very visual,” he says.
“Once we close the shop at the end of the day, it’s important to have good light in the window. If we had to cut that back it would really affect business.”
On the government support package, he says: “I’m grateful like many businesses that they’ve done something because this has been going on a long while.
“The problem is I don’t think they’ve gone far enough.”
He says the government should have also looked at “cutting VAT or decoupling gas and electricity supplies” to reduce bills further.
Matt Hemsley, owner of Matt’s Maps and Repairs, vehicle maintenance, and modifications workshop, says rising energy bills both for the company and customers are having an effect on the business.
About two months ago he downsized to work out of one unit in his Ipswich base instead of four, which will save the company about £2,000 a month.
Despite that, he says: “We’re going to have put our prices up to cover our bills going up, so it’s a ripple effect.”
He says the government package “is good because every little saving does help and hopefully it’ll help other people out, and means they spend money at other companies”.
Mr. Hemsley says he increasingly sees people carrying out less regular maintenance to their cars and only bringing them in when there is a major fault, due to the rising cost of living.