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UK News

Energy price cap 'will definitely help' small businesses and churches says Christian bank

by Alex Collett

With the rising cost of energy bills, the government has announced that small businesses will see their energy bills cut by at least half this winter - compared to the current estimates of wholesale costs.

Schools, hospitals and churches are also covered by the non-domestic cap on electricity and gas prices. 

It will last for at least six months - not the two year plan put in place for households.However, it will be reviewed half way through the process. 

Paul Houghton, chief executive of Kingdom Bank, that helps churches  financially, told Premier that the energy price cap 'will definitely help': "The government has stepped in and done something which will be really helpful for businesses and churches and charities across the whole of the UK over the next six months.

"It has been tough for churches over the past year. Interestingly, the biggest challenge we're seeing when we're talking to churches is not primarily the rise in their energy bills, but actually the squeeze on their congregations.

"Because the typical Church's congregation has and will have substantially less in their pocket, because of rises in household costs, generally food and mortgages, renters as well as energy and that puts a squeeze on people's ability to give Christians are trying to be resilient clearly and put their church first but not to the extent of increasing their debt."

Mr Houghton explained that we should be praying for people to give what they can to their church buildings still: "As individuals, within churches, we have responsibility to share in the kind of family responsibility as a church and those are for some people who have who have less, they'll be able to be there maybe have to reduce their giving, and other individuals within churches will be able to increase their giving to be able to cover churches costs."

Christian business owner of Cambridge Numerical Control (CNC) Tim Collett told Premier, although he welcomes the price cap, he still worries and prays for small businesses: "The kind of companies that are going to really struggle are those like restaurants, engineering companies, where they have a lot of machine tools that use a lot of power. 

"They're the ones who are really struggling at the moment and I think the cap is a good idea it's going to help. I just wish it had been a little more targeted to the kinds of smaller companies that really need it."

"The caps going to help every business that's applied to, it's going to help in varying degrees, depending on the business and how much power they actually use, 

"Some of our customers I've been talking to them, and they're precision engineers running big CNC machine tools on three phase electricity that draw a lot of power. 

"They've seen the bills rise from £6000 a month to over £10,000 a month and it's not something they can sustain, they have to start passing the costs on, so I think the cap will help with this. 

Mr Collett believes Christians who own small businesses should look out for one another.

"We need to reach out to others in the community," he said. 

"We're reaching out to other companies to make sure that they're okay. We've made sure that our subcontractors have had their daily rate increased as well so that they can manage because generally speaking, they're a one man band, so any help we can give to companies that work for us and work with us. I think we should do it. 

"We just want to make sure that we pray for those people, pray that they have the resilience to keep on going, the strength to realise that help is at hand and also that the Christian community as a whole is praying for them to make sure that there are no redundancies or people being put out of work."

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