Business groups in Suffolk and Ipswich have welcomed the news of the immediate help with energy bills from the government - but there is concern that it might only last for six months.

Paul Simon from Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said: "Suffolk Chamber’s initial reaction is one of relief at the news that businesses’ energy bills will be capped at the same price per unit as households, but disappointment that this will only be for a six-month period as opposed to two years for households.

"Businesses also need to understand what the unit price is so as to adjust their business plans accordingly.

“We are also keen that there is an enhanced duty to supply to businesses, not least as quite a few firms are struggling to find any supplier at all, but we cannot see any mention of this in the Prime Minister’s announcement.

"We will, however, look at the details of the proposals once published.

“In the longer-term, we must ensure that this country’s energy security is never so compromised as this again.

"This means accelerated investment incentives in a broad mix of net zero energy sources, improvements in energy storage and transmission infrastructure and a streamlining of regulations to speed up such investments which are frequently unreasonably delayed within the planning system.

"We welcome the announcement of a new Energy Supply Taskforce to agree long-term contracts that reduce the price they charge for energy and increase the security of supply.

“We are also keen that this Government looks to lower longer-term tax burdens on businesses by reversing the recent increase in NI Employer Contributions and re-opening a serious investigation into replacing the perverse and out-of-date business rates system.”

Ipswich Central is one of 150 Business Investment Districts (BIDs) around the country which launched a campaign calling for more support for high streets across the country.

Ipswich Star: Ipswich Central has joined BIDs from across the country to lobby for more health.Ipswich Central has joined BIDs from across the country to lobby for more health. (Image: Ipswich Central)

Ipswich Central Chief Executive Sophie Alexander Parker said: "While we welcome the government's six-month energy bills scheme for businesses, the government is not going far enough to support businesses who are desperately concerned about rising costs.

"Along with over 150 BIDs taking part in the national Business SOS campaign, we will continue to lobby for more support for businesses; ensuring the proposed 'focused support' will deliver what is needed."