BUSINESSES say they are feeling the pinch as the cost of living crisis hangs over their heads.
Gas and electricity prices increased by 54% in April 2022 and are expected to rise another 82% by October.
Covid-19 and its impact on the High Street has seen the collapse of businesses such as: TM Lewin, Victoria’s Secret, Sofa Workshop and Burton, many of which are still hanging by a thread.
The war in Ukraine has put additional pressure on supplies and costs, and economists predict the UK economy will slide into recession later this year.
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The crisis was also felt in Romsey.
However, Jess Dugdale, owner of sustainable refill shop and cafe Lemon & Jinja, has a plan to keep her business running all winter long.
The shop opened at the Basepoint Business Center in Romsey in 2019 and sells a wide range of eco-friendly products.
She said: “We’re ready as we plan to introduce more products, whether it’s affordable food boxes and packaging.
“Our rent has now almost doubled in price, but now we have to adapt to cover the costs.
“We have no choice but to keep going because if we stop, we suffer.”
It’s not just retail that’s feeling the pinch as people watch their spending and rising operating costs.
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Melissa O’Dwyer, owner of Little Bee Bakery, based at Basepoint in Romsey, said small businesses like hers were struggling to cope with the relentless challenges.
She said: “We survived Covid, the lockdown and the war in Ukraine, which has a ripple effect everywhere from supplies to rising costs, and I think as a small business it’s is probably easier for us to react more quickly than if we had investors and boards.”
Ms O’Dwyer said she was launching a series of products and courses to help the company and its employees stay afloat through the winter.
She said, “We’re launching our cake decorating classes and starting to sell cake decorating supplies. All we can do is keep doing what we’re doing and see where it takes us.”
Both companies called on people to support them through this difficult time – and they warned customers that it was once again a matter of ‘use it or lose it’.