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Stroud MP to take action in wake of rising costs to businesses

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Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie is to survey local businesses to collate more information about the cost of energy and other inflationary pressures that are affecting them.

The move follows discussions with businesses over the summer and a recent meeting with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) local representatives to discuss how its members are coping.

The Stroud MP spoke with Sam Holliday FSB Development Manager and Russell John Warner FSB Area Lead for Gloucestershire.

There is a concern that businesses are not subject to an energy cap and bills have multiplied at an alarming rate for many. 

“The present very challenging situation with rising bills is a huge concern for everyone. Our small businesses make up approximately 85% of our business community and employ thousands of people,” said Ms Baillie. 

“Following months of discussions, it is clear to me that all the hard work and extensive efforts to save businesses during the pandemic could be lost if action is not taken swiftly. 

“I will be sending out a survey soon to firms asking them to indicate how recent events are impacting them and what they would ask the new Prime Minister to prioritise.

“All information assists me to argue the case for targeted support and guide ministers about what is happening on the ground across the Stroud district. It is important that the government knows what we are facing.”

She also thanked the FSB for the meeting.

“Not surprisingly business confidence is down following the invasion of Ukraine and supply and inflation pressures, but our businesses have an able advocate in the FSB.

“One bright spot remains the number of jobs out there. Many industries are desperate to recruit and want us to focus on skills education, which is something I have been pushing for years.”

Sam Holliday said: “We were pleased to meet with Siobhan and share the serious issues we are hearing from our members about rocketing utility prices. We are sure this survey will be another helpful way to get a real  understanding of exactly what challenges SMEs in Stroud are facing.

“We hope as many businesses as possible can contribute so Siobhan can take back these findings to Parliament. The new-look Government will then have an opportunity to hear the urgent need for support our businesses are calling for ahead of what could be a very tough winter.”

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