A TAKEAWAY owner has warned other businesses after admitting his restaurant is on the brink of closure due to a huge increase in energy costs.

Mohammed Awais, who has run The Flavours on Girlington Road for 12 years, usually pays £260 for gas and £95 for electricity per month.

With his current contract expiring at the end of May, he decided to seek estimates for his likely energy costs from June onwards and was shocked by the results.

The best rate he could find showed the price of the former going up by 400 per cent (£1,068), and, as for the shop’s electricity, that grew by 300 per cent (£305).

Mr Awais says he is going to increase prices when his new energy contract begins but fears a lack of competitiveness will force him into getting a job elsewhere.

He adds that “businesses are sleepwalking into a death-trap” over these next few months.

“People are talking about the 54 per cent rise for households but nobody talks about businesses,” Mr Awais said.

“There will be a lot of businesses closing down in the next couple of years.

"I am going to try to put my prices up but I don’t know if it is going to work or not, most likely I don’t think it will. You have to stay competitive, there are not a shortage of takeaways in Bradford.

"I have spoken to so many business owners and most of them do not know what is coming. Most of them are in contracts and until they expire, they are not going to pay the new prices. Businesses are sleepwalking into a death trap.

"I wanted a fixed three-year contract and these are the prices they gave me which was a huge shock to me.

"Let’s say I take home £1,000 per month, if that is all going on gas and electric I may as well close down and go home. I am not working for a gas company, I am working for myself.

"My normal bill is around £350 per month and I run a small shop. That will now be over £1,200.

"What about the big restaurants in Bradford, their usual energy costs will be around £5000-£6,000 multiply that by four and it is crazy.”

Mr Awais got in touch after the Telegraph & Argus highlighted Bradford West MP Naz Shah’s anger when seeing that a business in her constituency suffered a similar increase.

The price of their electricity bill had almost quadrupled to nearly £50,000 in the space of a year.

There was a huge 353.745 per cent growth when comparing bills from January 2021 to January 2022.

The business consumed 71,772.4 kWh of electricity in January 2021 and 73,286.9 kWh 12 months later. In the former, the charge was £10,731.70 while in 2022 the price had shot up to a massive £48,694.56.

The Labour MP tweeted: “Businesses are on the brink of collapse and this government is sitting idly by.”

Couple this with the fact two businesses in the district have already said they will be shut because of ever-rising costs.

City centre shop Plant One On Me will close for good on April 16. The John Street plant shop, run by Ursula Sutcliffe, is going to concentrate on its online offering.

Claire Midgley is also cutting ties with her Brambles & Blooms florist in Bingley Road, Saltaire, on Mother’s Day.

Mark Goldstone, Head of Business Representation & Policy at West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Increasing energy costs are proving a challenge for many firms in the district.

"Our latest economic report which will be published next week references this specifically with many indicating two and three-digit percentage increases in energy bills this year, but it is only part of the challenges facing businesses right now.

"In our report, we will say that a significant percentage of firms are reporting exponential rises in the costs and availability of raw materials, in rising shipping and haulage costs, with recruitment challenges and labour shortages leading to spiralling salary expectations.

"Yet despite all of these supply-side challenges many firms are reporting demand for their products and services back to pre-Covid levels and where possible providing an outlet to recoup increased costs in the form of price rises which may help offset these unprecedented challenges.”