Businesses doing all they can to stop price hikes affecting their customers
- Credit: Submitted
With rising fuel costs and surging energy bills, businesses and their customers may start to feel the squeeze on their purse strings.
But independent businesses in Norwich say they'll do whatever they can to stop the impending prices hikes affect their loyal cliental.
Luke Coathup, who owns The Green Grocers in Earlham, said: "There's a lot of pressure on small businesses at the moment to put their prices up.
"We've already ridden the wave that was Covid, which had a massive impact on everyone, but now it's a balancing act to try and keep prices down as much as we can - while still trying to stay competitive with the big supermarkets."
Paula Taylor, who owns The Cheeseman in the market, said: "With everything going up at the moment, it will have a knock on effect to the company.
"If we didn't pass some of the price on to customers - there's a chance I might not still be here in a years time.
"We're trying our best to negate any costs we can - customers bring in plastic containers they can wash out to store the cheese in, instead of using plastic bags.
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"Alternatively we re-use bags we provide them - so I only use about a tenth of what I used to."
Ryan Whiley, at CJ's Fruit and Veg in the Market, said: "Obviously it's not ideal - it's frustrating that everyone will feel the effect of these price hikes.
"For us here it creates some uncertainty, because we're not as competitive as supermarkets and we rely on our customer base to support us.
"We're trying to avoid passing the cost to our customers but at some point we'll have to.
"One thing we will do when looking at our charges across the board is that if we need to put prices up, it will only be to cover our fuel costs and not to make a profit.
"We have relationships with our customers so we don't want to take any advantage - we'll only put the prices up if we have to."
Ways in which independent businesses are saving their customers money
While speaking to local businesses, the Evening News asked what they're doing to help their customers save the pennies.
Luke at the Green Grocers said: "We offer ability to re-fill, so if you bought washing up liquid in a bottle for example and get to the end, come in with that bottle we re-fill it for you.
"It's about 10pc cheaper than buying a new bottle - it's one way we can help the customer save money and help the environment.
"We also offer this on another 50 plus products, like cereals, seeds and nuts."
Ryan, at CJ's Fruit and Veg, said: "Hardly anything is in actual plastic here and recommend to customers to buy only what they need.
"So if they only want one apple, they can have one - it helps reduce both food waste and the cost for our customers as best we can."