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The Threat to Britain’s Nation of Shopkeepers

Over half of Britain’s micro-businesses (56 per cent) feel rising cost of energy is crippling their future
71 per cent have been caught out by unexpected T&Cs
45 per cent have been asked to make large upfront payments
31 per cent are on a high tariff because they are seen as a credit risk
21 per cent were turned down by energy suppliers

A new survey has revealed that over half of UK micro-businesses (56 per cent) feel the rising cost of energy is threatening their future. The findings, from an independent study commissioned by Britain’s fastest growing independent energy supplier, Utilita Energy, coincide with the start of Independent Retailer Month today (3 July).
It reveals that the majority of micro-businesses say they are currently penalised by energy providers with almost half (45 per cent) asked to make large upfront payments. A third (31 per cent) claim they are on a high tariff because they are seen as a credit risk, while one in five (21 per cent) were turned down by energy suppliers.

Alarmingly, seven per cent have been cut off – with dire commercial consequences – for missing a payment.
Almost half (42 per cent) feel they get an unfair deal from energy suppliers and over two thirds (71 per cent) say they have been caught out by unexpected T&Cs such as crippling rates, inflexible payment terms, high deposits and extended contracts.

As a result of the findings, Utilita is building on its success in the domestic market by launching into the commercial energy sector with a single tariff, flexible payment options and no upfront deposits.
Should customers face cash flow issues the provider will switch them onto a pay-as-you-go smart meter solution and roll up the current bill so that energy supply is maintained and businesses can carry on trading – improving their credit rating at the same time. More information can be found by visiting
Shaun Underwood, Director of Utilita Business Energy, said: “We should be supporting Britain’s small businesses in these times of uncertainty – but it is clear that there are a significant and growing number of small businesses that appear to be treated unfairly and have very real concerns. I believe customers should not be asked to pay crippling up-front deposits when cash flow is a problem, should not be put onto discriminative contract rates and should not be punished or shunned by suppliers. We faced these very same issues in the early days so we really do understand.”

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