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Rising energy costs piling the pressure on café owners


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Rising energy costs piling the pressure on café owners Rising energy costs piling the pressure on café owners

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Rising energy prices may turn the lights off permanently at a popular Galway City café.

Lighthouse Café, with outlets on Abbeygate Street and Terryland Retail Park, faces closure due to spiralling business costs.

Owners Mark and Kerry Legh said both cafés are busy, but soaring inflation and energy costs are eating into margins.

Their monthly electricity bill for one café has more than doubled, which is piling pressure on a business that employs about a dozen staff.

“It was about €600 per month in the Terryland café a year ago, and that’s gone up to about €1,500 a month now, which is just crazy money. You get a bill for three grand for two months, any wages and profit just disappear,” said Mark Legh.

The company survived during Covid-19, like most businesses, with Government subsidy through the Pandemic Unemployment Payments. But they are not looking for handouts; they want energy companies tackled.

“The profiteering of energy providers seems to be where the problem needs to be addressed, rather than Government handing out money. It seems like there are massive profits being made, and small businesses and their employees are the ones getting their wages cut or margins cut.

“One energy company made €1.3 billion profit in the first six months of this year, which is a phenomenal amount of money when businesses and poor people are struggling to pay bills,” said the head chef.

The couple took over Lighthouse on Abbeygate Street in 2017, and expanded to Terryland with another café and prep kitchen in 2020.

Business is booming for the vegetarian and vegan specialists in terms of ‘bums on seats’ but rising costs are threatening their existence.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 12 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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