A number of hospitality trade bodies have renewed calls for the government to act on rising energy costs.\r\n\r\nThe BII, BBPA, UKHospitality and Hospitality Ulster have penned a joint letter after industry-wide data shows just 29% of hospitality businesses feel optimistic about the next 12 months, with energy their biggest concern.\r\n\r\nThe survey asked people running pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality businesses about their operations and prospects and highlighted how critical the energy crisis has become for the industry over the past year; with 86% of respondents concerned or very concerned about energy costs and the average bill now up by 81% since last year and three times more than in 2021.\r\n\r\nData collected by CGA by NielsenIQ on behalf of the British Institute of Innkeeping, UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and Hospitality Ulster showed businesses that were forced into long-term fixed rate contracts between July and September 2022, as energy prices continued to rise, felt the least optimistic about their prospects over the next 12 months.\r\n\r\nOf those businesses that locked into a contract at the peak of the energy crisis between July and September almost half (46%) felt their business was at risk of failure in the next 12 months, with 92% citing energy prices as a significant contributor to that risk.\r\n\r\nThese businesses were also less likely to have cash reserves and almost half (46%) of all respondents had less than three months\u2019 worth.\r\n\r\nIn a joint statement the trade bodies said: "The energy crisis has been pushing pubs, bars and restaurants to breaking point for a year now. The Energy Bill Relief Scheme provided a short respite but with that falling away last month businesses are back to paying high costs, with no end in sight for the thousands locked into contracts who will be obligated to pay extortionate rates well into next year.\r\n\r\n"Put simply, this data is extremely worrying for thousands of otherwise viable hospitality businesses. No profits means nothing to invest back into businesses, no cash reserves means nothing to fall back on, and businesses being forced to close means important, irreplaceable assets being lost from local communities and economies across the country forever.\u201d\r\n\r\nThey added: \u201cThe Government must recognise this crisis isn't just crippling businesses now. Left unresolved it will have a lasting wider impact long into the future, impacting local employment, supply chains and removing essential community hubs from villages, towns and cities across the whole of the UK.\r\n\r\n"Suppliers must be instructed to offer renegotiation to businesses locked into long-term, high-cost contracts, whilst businesses on the brink should be offered direct, targeted support. The people running pubs, bars and restaurants in neighbourhoods across the UK want to remain there and provide the absolute best for their communities but feel they are fighting a losing battle, they need support now."