Europe’s Energy Crisis Crushing Small Businesses

Hopes for a quick fix for Europe’s staggering energy crisis are dimming quickly as many experts warn that businesses and consumers may see several years of winter energy rationing. And the prices now faced by households and employers alike are crushing.

An example of the emergency emerged from a British pub in Bebington, England, The Rose and Crown. Its ownership tweeted that the establishment currently has to pay roughly $72,000 annually for its electric bill alone.

And caps on British households’ electricity bills will now increase 80% beginning in October.

An ominous forecast just came from Europe’s largest oil and gas company. Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden warned that the continent may face energy rationing for several years, meaning the crisis is hardly confined to just one winter.

At issue, of course, is life without Russian oil. After the Ukraine invasion and subsequent sanctions imposed by Western powers, the Kremlin responded with drastic cuts to European gas supplies.

With economies just now returning to pre-pandemic levels, some see the devastation wrought on business by COVID-19 as a walk in the park compared to what is coming.

Sacha Lord is an economic advisor for Greater Manchester, and he is horrified by the “lack of intervention” by the British government. Lord tweeted that the energy crisis will do more damage to the hospitality industry than even the coronavirus lockdowns.

As he explained, both he and the British government can see exactly what is coming, but legislators instead “go on holiday.” Lord called it both “insulting” and “criminal.”

As the energy crisis’ impact on consumers and businesses deepens, many express concern over the solidarity of the continent against Russia in the aftermath of its brutal invasion of Ukraine. EU member states have to make key decisions concerning vital industries, especially during the brutal winter.

Whether it’s intense rationing, a rapid buildup of alternative sources, or likely a combination of the two, there are trying times on the horizon. And cracks in the united front against Russia’s energy industry could spell trouble for the resistance to Moscow’s aggression.

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