Local food blogger Sophie etc has written an open letter to MPs in Milton Keynes urging them to help local businesses in the face of 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 rising energy costs and the impact on small businesses in Milton Keynes before it’s 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 shut down this week due to rising energy costs, I’m angry,” Sophie wrote. “So I wrote a letter.”
The letter comes as two local independents have announced their closures over the past month. Fenny Kitchen closed its doors last week, while Olney Butchers will close on August 31.
“As you know, commercial properties do not currently benefit 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 stores,” the letter reads.
READ MORE – Olney’s popular butchers are forced to close due to ‘rising electricity costs’
“They won’t be the first to close, nor the last.” The food blogger wrote in her letter.
The letter also says The Carrington Arms, a traditional family-run English country inn based in Moulsoe, lost £10,000 in July despite turning over £120,000.
“If the VAT was 5% they would have made a small profit, even though their energy bills would drop from £23,000 to £75,000 a year.
“Other small businesses are reporting similar increases. They face a vicious circle where customers will spend less on non-essential activities and products due to their own rising costs, so restaurants’ ability to recoup revenue plummets.
The food blogger tells MPs that with the impact of the energy crisis affecting households and people having to find thousands of extra pounds to pay their energy bills, businesses in Milton Keynes will see a ‘massive drop in consumer spending, which means reduced income for small businesses.
“The combination of no cap and no income will put a lot of people in dire straits.”
She wrote: “By sitting around doing nothing to help small businesses, you are hurting an already delicate economy. Small businesses contribute 52% of the UK private sector’s annual turnover. 52%. SMEs also account for three-fifths of employment.
“They are integral to both employment and a healthy economy.”
“Your party stands ready to watch this happen. We will no longer have small businesses not just in the city of Milton Keynes but across the UK. While the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reports that 53% of businesses are expected to stagnate, contract or fold over the next 12 months, the future does not look bright.
“Well, Iain, you both claim to support local businesses and are currently running a competition for the best coffee in Milton Keynes.”
On Friday July 1, MP Iain Stewart and MP Ben Everitt launched their MP’s Best Coffee competition, with voting closing on September 1.
“The reality is that the winner of this competition may not survive the next six months if your government does not act.”
You can read the full letter here, small businesses can also sign and share their experiences below.
You can read the response from local MPs here.