For the past 12 months businesses have been dealing with price increases across the board, raw materials, fuel, rents, and wages. At the heart of it all, is rising interest rates. I am seeing the continued impact on businesses from the farm gate, to suppliers, right through to fellow retailers.

What the RBA is continuing to do to the community is nothing short of disgusting. This is the toughest market I’ve seen since the recession of 1992.

Fresh data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows living costs for employees recorded the largest annual rise ever, at 9.6%. It comes as latest Roy Morgan research found an estimated 1.35 million mortgage holders were ‘at risk’ of ‘mortgage stress’ in the three months to March this year, the highest level in more than a decade.

This means businesses are being hit twice, not only dealing with an increase in business costs, but also dealing with the extra hit of consumers being forced to tighten their belts. You cannot keep ripping money out of people’s pockets, and expect they’ll be able to continue to spend as they usually would.

This isn’t just about me and my livelihood, but the livelihoods of the hundreds of people we employ across the business. People who are trying to make ends meet and are now finding it harder every month.

Some of the cost increases ours, and other businesses, have had to endure in recent months include the cost of raw materials such as milk, coffee beans, bread and cheese, with milk increasing 23% in December alone. The price of replacing in-store coffee machines and ovens have almost doubled, with an industrial coffee machine now costing almost $40,000 to replace.

Like households, businesses are also grappling with significant increases in power and gas.Commercial rents are increasing significantly in some parts, as landlords look to cover increased mortgage repayments. Businesses have to weigh up whether it’s cheaper in the long-term to accept the rent increase or pay to re-locate stock and equipment to a new building.

Our business is doing what it can to ease the price burden for customers, committing to keeping coffee prices stable, a new low-cost menu range, and a free coffee day next month.

What would really help customers is stability, so my message to the Reserve Bank is simple: stop increasing rates.

Dealing with inflation requires a long-term, sensible approach, not the knee-jerk reaction we’re currently seeing.

Warren Reynolds is the major shareholder and executive chairman of Muzz Buzz, a West Australian owned and operated business, specialising in Great Coffee on the Go.