PENARTH traders are braced for a tough winter as energy prices rise threaten to hammer profit margain and a UK recession looms.

The average household energy bills will be rising to £3,549 in October following the decision of energy regulator Ofgem to raise the price cap. 

This is going to impact the local businesses in Penarth. Although most businesses are concerned about the situation, some are finding creative ways to mitigate the issue.

Willmore's 1938 is a family-run local cafe based in Penarth. Matthew Holland runs the business and an increase in energy prices will have serious implications for trade. 

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"We've only been opened recently and we have no energy comparisons. We don't know how high the energy prices will go. We don't know what our profit margin is going to be. We are sort of in limbo regarding the energy prices. It is a really concerning situation for us", says Holland. 

The Galley is another small cafe based in Penarth Marina which is facing a similar situation. Marcus Hill is the co-owner of the Cafe. 

He says," We are worried because we don't know how high the energy prices will go. We've had to open extra days and we've also started doing Burger Nights every Friday. Unfortunately, we can't keep on putting the prices up as no one will come. So, we need to find more creative ways to keep our cafe going." 

Angelina Hall is the owner of Glass by Design in Penarth. It is a small retail gallery where they make the glass on-site and they represent about 35 artisans. 

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But Angela Hall fears the rise in energy bills will impact her business. 

She said: "We make some part of the glass in the gallery using a kiln. The major concern is that this process uses a lot of electricity. Right now we are in a contract when it comes to paying the energy bills but from next year we will come out of the contract, so it is a concerning situation for us."

Housing a collection of crafts from all over Wales and managing to survive during the pandemic by setting up a commerce site, the local business intends to adapt and use creative ways to resolve the issue.

Ms Hall adds: "I think the only solution is diversifying. When one part of the business gives you pressure, then you aim towards strengthening other aspects of the business."

Another local business, Griffin Books, is aiming towards using energy-efficient ways to tackle the situation. Mel Griffin is the owner of Griffin Books and she says her business won't be severely impacted by the increase in energy prices. 

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Mel Griffin  of Griffin Books, Penarth

"We are not big energy users. Most of our lighting is LED and they consume less energy. We don't have any heating in our shop which will make it colder but we just use energy for technology and lighting. But I believe we are just the fortunate ones. Particularly the hospitality businesses will be facing a lot of issues as their business model is dependant on using immense electricity and lighting", says Mel.