Government energy help 'too little too late' for businesses

A Co Antrim chippy has told UTV the government’s energy support for businesses is "too little too late".

For the last number of months, Ian and Nicola Girvin have been battling soaring costs at their Larne company.

They have been running at a loss and opening more for customers than profit.

Footfall has also fallen as customers wrestle with their own bills at home.

Ian said: “At our peak we were using up to 35 bags of spuds a week, now we doing 14 bags.

“It is the same for chicken, we were using 14 boxes of chicken now it is two a week.”

That has had a knock on impact on their takings while the energy bills continue to soar. The couple have taken the decision to close their businesses this weekend.

Saturday will be their last day of trading as they pull the shutters down for the final time.

Nicola says: “People have less money to spend, a takeaway is a luxury people can do without.

“We don’t want to close, we have been putting it off, one day we are closing then the next day we aren’t.

“It has just become impossible to trade in."