Businesses in North Tyneside are asking for support urgently from both government and their customers as they face increasing costs to continue to run their businesses.
Concerns have been rising along with costs, from many members of the North Tyneside Business Forum. The increase in fuel charges, along with supply costs for goods such as food are having a huge impact on both consumers as well as businesses.
With rises in some product costs spiralling to over 100%, and energy bills soaring to even higher rates there is a fear amongst business owners that their customers aren’t going to continue to support them as their own bills rise too.
Chair of North Tyneside Business Forum Karen Goldfinch said,
‘Our business community have been through so much over the last few years, they’ve survived one of the toughest times known, we were coming out the other side, only now to be hit with these additional worries.’
‘I’m concerned not only for the businesses themselves but also the mental health of many business owners, with the added pressure of providing for their customers, but looking after their employees, their families, and the future of our local area too. There is a worry that customers won’t support local businesses as they must increase their prices, but the increase isn’t to make more money, it’s often to stay open and to continue to trade!’
Energy prices and fuel costs rising to unprecedented rates will affect many services offered potentially, deliveries could be reduced to both domestic and commercial premises, transport to both work and visiting areas may be reduced, or potentially reduced opening hours which could affect both those using services and job losses too.
During the COVID19 Pandemic the Forum submitted regular reports to Government relating to businesses and continues to work with their Strategic Partners such as North Tyneside Council, NHS, Transport providers, the voluntary sector, and the emergency services to discuss economy in North Tyneside. The issue of rising costs forms part of these conversations too. Chair Karen Goldfinch added
‘In a time where we’re all concerned over what’s in our bank balance, we know there’s going to be some difficult times ahead. I’m hopeful the relationships formed with local high street traders, restaurants etc will continue in our communities. Prices may rise, but the risk of losing these services will have such a huge impact not just now but for future generations too.’
‘I would urge those in positions of power to meet with us to discuss the needs of our business community, to hear our concerns and to act quickly to help support us get through what is going to be yet again a very difficult time ahead. We would like to see more financial support to help businesses such as energy subsidies, reduced VAT and further business rates relief. “
One North Tyneside business that is feeling the effect is Jillys Homebake which is based at Wallsend’s Rose Inn. Gillian Grainge runs the restaurant and takeaway business and is worried that rising costs will compromise her trade.
“Our margins are getting smaller by the week as everything is going up. It’s not just the main food ingredients, it’s things like cooking oil, flour and even the containers we use for takeaways.
“We are very lucky that we have a large customer base, and we can spread out the costs a little better than most, but we are also dreading the impact of gas and electricity rises too.”
The Forum is FREE to join and is for any business with a trading address in North Tyneside.
E: [email protected] www.northtynesidebusinessforum.org.uk
T:0191 643 6000