Several trade associations have joined forces to call on the government to save small businesses from being wiped out by energy costs.

In a joint letter to Angus MacNeil MP, chair of the newly formed cross-party Energy Security and Net Zero Committee, organisations including the British Beer and Pub Association, the Association of Convenience Stores and the Federation of Small Businesses have outlined the “unprecedented cost pressures arising from non-domestic energy supply”. The groups have asked the Committee to convene an urgent inquiry into supplier behaviour.

In a joint statement, the trade groups said business owners across the country are “feeling powerless at the hands of energy suppliers”.

“They have seen energy bills rise exponentially in the past year and despite heading into warmer months this pain is set to continue,” the statement said. “Some businesses had little or no choice but to lock into extremely costly contracts at the height of the energy crisis and many will be paying over the odds for the next 12 months and beyond.

“These local businesses are well-loved assets, central pillars in their neighbourhoods, and if it weren’t for energy bills wiping out their profits would be running successfully thanks to the ongoing custom and support of their communities.”

The group called on the Committee to use its powers to recognise this crisis as a “real tangible threat” to the existence of businesses across the country.