Important for Covid recovery plan to protect against fourth wave, say Federation of Small Businesses

Small firms urge Chancellor to deliver on “whatever it takes” pledge as road map brings some clarity

Nicola Bailey and Closed Sign

Responding to the Prime Ministerial address in the House of Commons, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Development Manager for Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Nicola Bailey, believes this road map provides some much-needed clarity for small businesses in England, which have faced an incredibly tough year.

The Government’s commitment to helping small firms and sole traders access testing and its recognition of the plight faced by suppliers are welcome.

Protect against a fourth Covid wave
It’s important for this plan to protect against a fourth Covid wave and accompanying lockdown, the imposition of which would be devastating for the 250,000 firms that fear closure this year. 

Small businesses are clear that recovery depends on an accelerating vaccine programme, access to an improved testing infrastructure for firms of all sizes, the safe return of schools, and the right safety measures within businesses.

‘Whatever it takes’ pledge
The Chancellor must deliver on the Prime Minister’s ‘whatever it takes’ pledge at next week’s Budget. On one side of the coin we have continued restrictions – on the other, we need corresponding business support.

Whatever it takes means bringing those overlooked by current support measures into the fold, including suppliers, directors and the newly self-employed. Upwards of a million small business owners and sole traders are currently receiving no direct help whatsoever.

Business rates reliefs
Extension of business rates reliefs and measures to mitigate the burden of emergency debt will provide small firms with some urgently-needed breathing space as they fight to make it through to the summer.

Fundamentally, the implementation of, and deadlines for, business support measures need to reflect this road map to avoid forcing the great businesses of tomorrow under before they’ve had a chance to realise their potential.”   

Ongoing struggles
Official employment statistics do not fully reveal the challenges currently faced in the jobs market. Small firms are having to make incredibly hard choices about staff numbers and are struggling to recruit.

The Chancellor should take action next week: cutting employer national insurance contributions and reintroducing a job retention bonus.

We also need to help those currently out of work who are thinking about launching a new businesses through funding for the New Enterprise Allowance and Start-Up Loans programme, along with a fresh Kickstart Start-Up initiative to help those who have been on furlough to be their own boss and launch a venture themselves.

News shared by Nicola on behalf of the Federation of Small Businesses. Ed

Image: Tim Mossholder under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 24th February, 2021 9:42am



Filed under: Business, Island-wide, Small Business, Top story

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1 Comment on "Important for Covid recovery plan to protect against fourth wave, say Federation of Small Businesses"

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When it comes to protecting small business from a forth wave I just hope Cllr Dave Stewart is listening.

That said, hopefully Mr Stewart will be sent packing in May.