Independent Retail Europe sounds alarm bell over energy situation of SME retailers

Independent Retail Europe calls on EU policy makers and Member States to do everything in their power to assist SME retailers with soaring energy bills and to adopt and execute rapidly measures for emergency intervention.

Many SME retailers are obliged to conclude new energy contracts NOW, with often between fivefold to tenfold price increases. Under these conditions, they may have to close shop, as current energy costs make their businesses unprofitable. Particularly SME retailers in the food supply chain are heavily affected, as their cooling systems have to function continuously.

Certain Member States already have introduced temporary measures to support businesses on the basis of the State Aid Crisis Framework. However, not all SME retailers can benefit from these supports or, when they can, these are often insufficient.

At the same time, SMEs are required to invest in digitalisation and sustainability measures, among which long-term energy efficiency solutions. We strongly support these initiatives and our membership is taking measures in this direction, but with the current energy prices, they see their plans derail.

SME retailers are essential to EU communities and to their food supply. We therefore urge EU policy makers and Member States to speed up their plans for emergency interventions.