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Leading voices and industry organisations in both the laundry and drycleaning sector and across hospitality are already urgently pressing for incoming PM Liz Truss’s government to take significant action to save businesses and jobs before huge energy bills become due.
This a critical point for businesses of all sizes, from commercial laundries to small drycleaning shops on the high street. They, like hospitality, had to battle through the pandemic restrictions and some were still in a fragile position prior to the energy cost crisis biting into their budgets.
The TSA (Textile Services Association) recently published a Fox Energy report revealing what many members also face: ‘Numerous suppliers have announced their intentions not to take on any new business clients and only offer limited renewal contracts to existing customers with good credit and in favourable sectors.
‘Both British Gas and Scottish Power have decided to pull out of the industrial and commercial marketplace altogether, honouring existing contracts to their end, but then will not be offering renewal terms, advising businesses to seek alternate supply.’
Some other suppliers are withdrawing from the market for now or stating that new contracts will be considered from mid-2023.
This contract headache for businesses comes on top of concerns about the size of bills if they stay in operation – and whether the customer-base and volume of work will decrease as consumers cut their own spending to save money at home.
Hospitality bodies including UKH (UKHospitality) moved swiftly from congratulating Truss on her win to plead for quick and decisive action for both consumers and the leisure and services businesses they use. UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls has described the effect crushing cost rises will have and shares the concerns of organisations like The British Beer and Pub Association and The Night Time Industries Association that closures and job losses are inevitable unless decisive action is taken. If the new PM takes the bold step of freezing winter energy bills for households, Nicholls is urging that this should also apply to business as a wider package to protect jobs.