Today looks like being quite a day in Northern Ireland as Boris Johnson looks to make significant changes to the Protocol, much to the fury of the EU. How that pans out we will have to see, but today in our blog we thought we would focus on how independent businesses across the country are being crippled by rising costs, forcing some to sadly close.
No Longer Cope With The Rising Costs
One such business is Rosie`s bakery in Co Tyrone which has been running for over 10 years and is a very popular fixture in the area. Unfortunately owner Rosie Doyle has now made the difficult decision to shut down as she could no longer cope with the rising cost of ingredients as well as the spiraling increases in rent and electricity.
She believes that many other independent shops will likely follow suit in the very near future if help is not forthcoming. She spoke to Belfast Live and here is what she said:
“I don’t think I’ll be the first nor the last (to close) and that’s probably the scary part about it,” she said.
“Since January I have noticed the price of everything just going up and up.
“My rent was due to go up in April, my electric bill just kept going up and for last month it was £950 alone.
“We were going to start having to pay rates from next month onward so a lot more people are going to have to try and find that extra money that just doesn’t exist.
“People are already trying to find that extra money for the increase in ingredients or for staff wages.
There Was Only So Much I Could Put My Prices Up
“There was only so much I could put my prices up so I made the difficult decision to close the doors.”
She got Covid last year and is still feeling the effects of this, having been diagnosed with long Covid. She went on to say that:
“After I got out of isolation I went straight back to work, because I had to.
“I’ve been doing everything all this time and I just wasn’t fit to do it any more, physically or mentally.
“The rising costs would cripple anybody and it really is scary
“I did start to put my prices up but at the end of the day it’s still just a cookie or a brownie.
“People can always go to a supermarket and buy four for a pound so you kind of have to be realistic about it.
“A few months ago people would have literally been coming in filling boxes, whereas now people would have been asking more about prices and not buying as much.
“Closing Rosie’s will probably be the toughest and most life changing decision I’ll ever make,” she added.
“Baking has literally been my life for the last 11 years and I’ll never forget this crazy journey and the really great people I’ve met along the way.”
It is not only Northern Ireland of course that is feeling the effects of rising costs but that doesn`t make it any easier to bear for all types of businesses up and down the country. Help is needed and it is needed quickly.