Downing Street seems to be in a state of paralysis, with Boris Johnson hunkering down in the countryside the weeks before his successor is elected. The rest of the government is also being quite inactive, despite vague promises to draw up new cost of living support.
In the meantime, warnings from across industries are becoming more desperate.
Martin McTague, the national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, has warned that the “toxic cocktail” of rising taxes, energy costs, inflation and shrinking economic growth means “action is needed right now”.
“The cost of living crisis can’t be solved without addressing the cost of doing business crisis,” he claimed.
Now, more than 70% of pubs do not expect to survive the winter if energy costs continue to soar, according to the Guardian, and around 700 independent brewers wrote to chancellor Nadhim Zahawi requesting urgent help last week.
Pubs across the country may now be forced to close with energy bills potentially increasing by 300%, as businesses actually aren’t covered by a regulated energy price cap unlike households.
This means the £3,549 energy price cap set to kick in come October does not apply to individual companies – they can be charged much, much more.
Pub owners have claimed the crisis will cause “real and serious irreversible” damage to the industry unless Downing Street steps in.
So here’s a look at just some of the most recent closures which have caught local headlines across the country:
Chinese takeaway in Aberdeen
The Royal Crown Chinese takeaway in Scotland is expecting to close after its energy bill soared by £10,000.
Owner Martin Tang told the BBC he closed the 40-year-old shop because “every time I turn on a burner to cook something, I’m losing money. This is enough to kill off my business.”
Tearooms in Belfast
Molly Brown’s Dog Friendly Team Room is shutting in September after an electricity bill costing £4,000 for 10 weeks came in.
The owner, Richard Stewart-Brown, told BelfastLive: “As we were working to recover from being shut in lockdown, we like everyone else, discovered that our costs had just exploded and in addition to that instead of being one of seven cafes on the promenade, we are now one of 17 on the road and that doesn’t include other cafes in the town.
“The electric bill for two months and two weeks was £4,000 followed by a letter to say the prices were going up in August again and for us, as a small family run business, it was too much to handle.”
Italian restaurant Santoni is closing after five years due to the £2,000 monthly energy bill expected to hit this winter.
Its owner Marco Di Rienzo told YorkshireLive that it was closing despite still being popular, due to the worsening cost of living crisis and soaring prices.
280-year-old inn in Bath
The Faulkland Inn near Bath, which is 280 years old, is said to be considering closure.
The landlord Andy Machen told The Guardian: “Our gas and energy bills have doubled since April and we’re facing annual fuel costs of at least £20,000, which will wipe out our profits.”
Seafood company in Watford
A caller told LBC’s Eddie Mair that his business was going to shut up shop and relocate to the Netherlands due to the energy price rises.
He said the 11 storage and distribution seafood centres he owns have to moved to avoid bankruptcy – although this means “we’re looking at 900 redundancies plus” within the UK.
And there have been wider warnings about other businesses too...
The Telegraph reported that schools are considering three or four day weeks to cope with energy bills and teacher pay rises.
Marc Jordon, chief executive of a trust which runs 17 schools across Norfolk and the Midlands, said he had “heard mutterings of a three-day week to save on energy costs”.
However, a department for education spokesperson said the school week cannot be less than 32.5 hours a week.
The Pregnant Then Screwed campaign group claimed that nurseries have been reporting they suddenly have to close due increased food and energy costs, along with staffing issues.
Pub owners have warned that closures are likely this winter due to rising costs and reduced consumer spending.
Josh Green from the British Beer and Pub Association warned PoliticsHome that there is a “particularly potent cocktail” of issues which will put places out of business.