Sydney Markets business owners will be given half a million dollar that will help absorb the anticipated 20 per cent electricity hike for the next six months.

Sydney Markets Limited has responded to protect businesses in the wake of July 1 network charge increases and the as yet unknown impact of the Carbon Tax.

“We saw that the burden this electricity hike would place on our businesses was too extreme, given the current economic climate and difficult trading conditions, which are already affecting businesses within our Markets,” CEO of Sydney Markets Bradley Latham, said.

Latham also said over the course of the next six months Sydney Markets Limited will take the opportunity to review its approach in consultation with its businesses, including evaluating energy saving initiatives that could help tenants lower their energy consumption.

“As Australia's biggest produce markets, we are the price barometer for fruit, vegetables and flowers in Australia, but we still need to remain competitive and consider that there is a point where consumers will be turned away,” Latham said.

“At this time, particularly after a season of bad weather, we feel it’s better to help our businesses with keeping expenses down rather than they being forced to increase the price of product to recover costs.

“It’s not just grocers feeling the pinch.  We see our decision will be a helping hand for the packaging companies, exporters, food processors, warehouses, unloading services, cafés, banks and agricultural suppliers, to keep their businesses competitive.

“This decision has flow-on effects to the community.  The 140,000 customers that Sydney Markets attract each week can still be confident to get the best value in Sydney.”

This initiative has been well received by tenants.