A local business owner has said her electricity bill has increased by 100 per cent due to the ongoing price rises in energy, supplies and food.

Sharon Morrison, who owns Rebecca’s Coffee Shop in the Buttermarket, Enniskillen, has felt the pinch of recent months and feels there is a responsibility on the government to help small businesses stay open.

“Our electric bill has increased by 100 per cent. Obviously, this has a major impact on any business,” said Sharon. “Businesses like mine rely heavily on electricity in order for the business to operate all the cookers, fridges, freezers, dishwasher, water heater, coffee machine etc.

“Not only are we affected directly, but we also have to think about our customers who also have had a huge increase in living costs.


“This, in turn, will have an impact on their disposable income, which obviously has a knock-on effect on their social spend. It is especially significant in the coming months with general winter living costs and Christmas [coming up].

“As with the general domestic food costs increasing, ours have gone up equally as much, with all suppliers increasing costs on a regular basis, which is so hard to manage as you have the difficulty of not wanting to increase prices at the same rate.

“It is also getting increasingly difficult to get some products, therefore the supplier is able to demand a higher price.”

Looking at what can be done to help businesses, Sharon feels the government has to step in just as they have done for households.

“All businesses like mine will be eager to hear what government bodies will try and do to assist with the issue of the energy costs.

“They may cap energy costs for businesses as well as domestic households, which would of course help a little.

“However, I feel that more will have to be done in order to keep small businesses going, which is imperative for Fermanagh as we are dependant on the small business [sector].

“It will no doubt help if the government announce this week how they are going to help households. Obviously, if people get some assistance, they will be able to spend a little socially, which is important for general wellbeing and in turn should help the hospitality industry.”

And while everybody waits to see what measures may be rolled out to help people, Sharon cannot see any reduction in the cost of goods and services or the rise even reaching its peak any time soon.

She added: “We will have to rely on government intervention to reduce the burden on the general public and the small business.”

But, even with all the pressures that Sharon and her staff face, as well as the general public, she loves what she does.

“Business always brings new challenges; however, I do enjoy what I do, and I am forever grateful to have such loyal customers.”