A restaurant owner who spends around Â£ 60 an hour turning on his ovens says soaring fuel prices are bringing his business to the brink of closure.
Shaiful Hoque, owner of Indian restaurant Baburchi in Station Road, Llandaff North, said the restaurant had been hit hard by the price hike.
âWe opened in 2010. Last year it was tough, but it’s even worse this year,â he said.
âEverything is increasing: food, housing tax and, even worse, energy prices. It costs us around Â£ 60 an hour when all of our cookers are working. I would really appreciate an energy price freeze, but it could come too late to save my business. “
The 32-year-old has said his costs are rising but he cannot raise his prices. âPeople in this area just don’t have the money to spend now. If I increase my prices, customers will just go to a cheaper place and not worry that the quality is not as good. It is only when people have the money that they can be selective and go to a place where the food is better.
The restaurant owner said he was desperate to work and pay his bills and taxes.
âBut I am faced with having to shut down the Baburchi. Then I will be out of work and so will my staff, âhe said.
âI employ six people and their families depend on their wages. My family depends on my income. If the restaurant closes, we will all be out of work and will have to go to the employment office. The last thing I want is to be benefit dependent.
Mr Baburchi called for more help for small businesses facing high energy bills. “We are the ones who really need it,” he said.
Mari Williams, Labor parliamentary candidate for Cardiff North, said rising energy prices are crippling small businesses like Shaiful’s.
She added, âRight now the Big Six are getting by by raising their prices even when wholesale prices have gone down. An economic recovery will be driven by the success of small businesses. “