“Our members are being hit hard by the soaring cost of both fuel and energy,” said Lorcan Mekitarian, chair of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA). “We need the chancellor to act in his statement on Friday, 23 September if they are to be able to reliably supply good quality cleaning and hygiene products for the long term.
“We welcome the news that the Business Secretary is capping wholesale energy costs for businesses. However, certainty fosters growth and suggestions this support is limited to just six months does not provide it for the medium to long term.
“We are calling on the Chancellor to do three things. First, we want HMRC to adopt a flexible approach to payments, as was done during the pandemic, to ease cashflow. Second, we want a freeze on business rates. This will give members certainty in a very uncertain environment. Finally, our members work hard to be energy efficient. We want the Government to expand the support currently offered to energy intensive sectors.
“The Government must also keep an open mind, ready and willing to respond to changing circumstances in the coming months.”
The soaring cost of energy is impacting all CHSA members, perhaps hitting small and medium sized manufacturers the hardest. Many of these businesses lack the resources to absorb the extraordinarily high energy costs they are now facing. Without appropriate Government support, they will have to pass on the additional cost to distributors. These same distributors are already being impacted by the hike in the price of fuel. Passing on the cost to end users is almost unavoidable.
“We have seen unprecedented cost inflation in our sector,” continued Lorcan Mekitarian. “The unscrupulous will compromise on product quantity and quality. In contrast, CHSA members, by adhering to our Accreditation Scheme standards and signing our rigorous Code of Conduct, guarantee quality, fit for purpose products and that what’s on the box is what’s in the box.”