Milton Keynes MPs respond to open letter calling for more to be done to save local businesses amid rising costs

    A Milton Keynes-based food blogger has written to MK MPs 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, who runs a local guide to independent foodies, wrote a letter to Ben Everitt, MP for Milton Keynes North and Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South urging them to step in.

    "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."

    It comes as two local independents announced their closures in the past month. The 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.

    Ben Everitt MP and Iain Stewart MP have both responded to the letter from Sophie:

    Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South told MKFM: "We are taking the impact of the global rise of energy prices extremely seriously and have already announced a significant targeted package of support worth more than £37 billion. A big part of these payments will be made as we go into autumn and winter.

     “This is on top of the unprecedented financial support given to businesses throughout the pandemic to ensure businesses survived and jobs were saved.

     “I am saddened to see two local businesses forced to close to due the pressures of energy prices and I’m continuing to engage with the Government on what more can be done to help the country through this difficult period.

     “I want to assure residents and local businesses that the Government will continue to provide support. I met the Chancellor last week on this issue and discussed how he is putting together options of additional support for both individuals and businesses for the new Prime Minister to take.”

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

    Ben Everitt MP told MKFM: “It’s absolutely devastating to see local businesses under such pressure, feeling the pinch, especially since we all worked so hard to keep businesses afloat and people in jobs during the pandemic.

    “Hundreds of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money towards keeping people in jobs through Furlough and through business support grants from the Government to keep businesses afloat.

    “It’s hard not to see all that as futile faced with the pressures sweeping around the world at the moment, the global inflationary surge post-pandemic combined with the energy crisis caused by Putin’s war in Ukraine have meant businesses are under such pressure.

    “The Government is working on a business support package right now and both leadership candidates have signalled small businesses are their top priority, but right now what we’re doing is making sure small businesses in our communities have customers.

    “A huge Cost Of Living support package is already rolled out with £37 billion worth of support going to households across the country to make sure small businesses in our area have customers with money to spend, but we know businesses are at the frontline right now – help is on its way.

    “My heart goes out to every small business owner and employee across our wonderful constituency. I know how tough it is and I know they’re working as hard as they can.”

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