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Current economic climate 'more difficult than during Covid'

Businesses consider impact of imminent energy hikes

The first of a two-part hike to electricity prices is due to come into effect towards the end of this week.

We've since seen the Isle of Man's Chamber of Commerce publish survey results which show businesses are facing the 'toughest conditions for many years'.

The start of April is when the first of two hikes are expected.

It'll see electricity prices rise from 22 pence to 28 pence per unit.

Consumers will, on average, need to find an additional £400 each year from when the second rise is implemented in July.

However, where will residents turn for help if government go ahead with their plans not to continue shielding residents from energy rises?

Saqhib Ali runs the company Interest Free Loans which loans vouchers for goods and services rather than money.

He says there's been a significant rise in demand:

Those running a business will also see their daily running costs surge.

The Chamber of Commerce revealed results from a survey showing a third of businesses don't think they'll be able to absorb the cost increases.

John Kinley is the owner of Ocean Views who's calling on government to do more:

Mr Kinley insists businesses need government support and thinks those in power can help.

But do those at the top of government agree? Chief Minister Alfred Cannan spoke to Manx Radio:

What government is making clear is businesses and residents are now on their own, but with places like the pet foodbank being created, the squeezed middle resorting to loans, and businesses regularly going under, only time will tell if this is the right approach.

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