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National President Jason Birks has written to the government appealing for help with rocketing energy bills.

The Fed is calling for more financial help from the government and for the energy price cap to be extended to businesses.

In the letter to Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and to business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Mr Birks reminded the government that independent retailers are the fabric of society but their future was under threat.

“Independent convenience retailers play a critical role in communities across the UK. We help raise much-needed funds for local causes, give young people their first jobs, keep a watchful eye out for our more elderly or disabled customers and provide store to door news and delivery services.

But he warned: “With the cost-of-living crisis and sky-high energy bills, our livelihoods and the future of the independent convenience retail sector is in doubt.”

Laying bare the impact that the energy crisis was having on Fed members, Mr Birks advised that a member currently paying £1,500 per month for electricity would shortly face a bill of £4,500 per month.

“Such an increase will make the business unviable, through no fault of the retailer concerned,” he wrote.

“As the energy price cap does not apply to businesses, there is no limit to what our members could be charged over coming months.

“When these soaring energy bills are added to falling margins and rising payroll costs, it may only be a matter of time before other communities lose access to the groceries and services that local stores provide – but more importantly they will also lose a heart.

“To survive this crisis, we need more financial support from the government and for the energy price cap to be applied to businesses too, even though this may be too little, too late.”

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