Could be a difficult winter…
Summer’s coming to an end, and to be honest it’s been a decent one for us, if quieter than the last couple of crazy-busy ones. In fact, we’ve had a pretty positive year so far.
But it’s impossible to avoid worrying about the winter ahead. The impact of the rising cost of living as energy bills soar is going to be felt keenly by small businesses, and sadly for many in hospitality I can’t see any other option than packing up this winter. It’s going to be heart-breaking to see, especially considering that many were just picking up after the dreadful worry of Covid. At least during the pandemic there was support, especially from the VAT cut which for us meant we emerged in a reasonably healthy position.
Rising energy costs are obviously not just hitting business, but individuals and families too. The massive increase in personal bills means people are less able to eat out even if they want to, and many working-age people are looking for wage rises. We will do what we can to support our staff because it’s awful to see hard-working people finding their money doesn’t go as far as it did, through no fault of their own.
I hope the new government makes some radical decisions in the next few weeks as things really do look as grim as I’ve ever known them. I think most people know the profits aren’t huge in hospitality, and to suddenly soak up such a massive increase is impossible.