The Daily Telegraph

Some small firms left out in the cold

- By Rachel Millard

SMALL companies still face distress due to energy prices even after the Government’s interventi­on, a top business group warned yesterday.

Jacob Rees-mogg, the business secretary, said energy bills for businesses would be subsidised from October following months of soaring wholesale costs.

Those on fixed price deals signed after April 1 will have their bills fixed at around £211 per megawatt-hour for electricit­y and £75 per megawatt-hour for gas, while companies on variable contracts will get major discounts.

Mr Rees-mogg did not give costings for the interventi­on.

However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said firms may have signed contracts at high prices before April 1. Others have been pushed into difficulty by energy costs since April or were struggling with rising prices even before then. The FSB’S Tina Mckenzie said: “For all businesses that fall outside the scope of today’s support, or where the help is insufficie­nt for the business to be viable, we urge government and energy providers to introduce a discretion­ary funding pot, similar to the £150m for those households who don’t pay council tax.”

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