Food blogger writes open letter urging Milton Keynes MPs to save local businesses amid rising energy costs

    A local food blogger, Sophie etc, has written an open letter to Milton Keynes MPs urging them to help local businesses amid the cost of living crisis and rising energy costs.

    A Milton Keynes-based food blogger has written to Ben Everitt, MP for Milton Keynes North and Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South urging them 'to do something about the rising energy costs and the impact on small businesses in Milton Keynes before it is too late'.

    Local food blogger, Sophie etc, runs a local guide to independent foodies, as well as a community Facebook page. "After seeing two small businesses in MK close this week due to the rising energy costs, I am angry," Sophie wrote. "So I wrote a letter."

    The letter comes as two local independents announced their closures in the past month. Fenny Kitchen closed their doors last week, while Olney Butchers will be closing on the 31st August.

    'As you know, commercial properties are not currently benefitting from a price cap. They are already facing astronomical price increases. This has already led to the permanent closure of some of our local restaurants and shops,' the letter reads.

    READ AGAIN - Popular butchers in Olney forced to close due to 'rising costs of electricity'

    'They will not be the first to close their doors, nor will they be the last.' The food blogger penned in her letter.

    The letter also states that The Carrington Arms, a family run traditional countryside English Inn based in Moulsoe, lost £10,000 in July despite a £120,000 turnover.

    'If VAT was at 5%, they would have made a small profit, even though their energy bills will be going from £23,000 to £75,000 per year.

    'Other small businesses are reporting similar increases. They face a vicious cycle where customers will be spending less on non-essential activities and products due to their own increasing costs, so the opportunity for restaurants to recoup the revenue is plummeting.'

    The food blogger tells the MPs that with the impact of the energy crisis affecting households and people having to find thousands of extra pounds to pay energy bills, businesses in Milton Keynes will see a 'massive decline in consumer spending, which means a reduced income for small businesses.

    'The combination of no cap and no income will put many in a dire situation.' 

    She wrote: 'By sitting by and doing nothing to help small businesses, you are damaging an already delicate economy. Small businesses contribute 52% of annual turnover in the UK private sector. 52%. SMEs also account for three-fifths of employment. 

    'They are integral to both employment and a healthy economy.'

    'Your party is standing by watching this happen. We will have no small businesses left not just in the City of Milton Keynes, but across the UK. With The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reporting that 53% of businesses are expected to stagnate, shrink or fold in the next 12 months, the future is not looking good.

    'Ben, Iain, you both claim to be supportive of local businesses and you are currently running a competition for the Best Café in Milton Keynes.'

    On Friday 1st July, Iain Stewart MP and Ben Everitt MP launched their MK's Best Café Competition, with votes closing on September 1st.

    'The reality is the winner of that competition might not survive the next six months if your government does not act.'

    You can read the full letter here, small businesses are also able to sign and share their experiences at the bottom.

    You can read the response from the local MPs here.

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