Lancashire based group calls for ten point plan to support struggling businesses

The Lancashire-headquartered Federation of Small Businesses has released a ten-point plan for economic support for Ministers to urgently consider as current Covid restrictions take their toll, and amid speculation about further measures.

By Tim Gavell
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 7:31 am

The list includes steps to support sectors such as hospitality which are already hit by lost trade, as well as other options to help small businesses as a whole continue to function into the New Year.

The FSB is calling for 100 per cent Business Rates relief for eligible retail and hospitality businesses, as well as a cut in VAT to 5 per cent for tourism and hospitality.

it said these sectors, which employ 3.2 million, had already been hit hard by the effects of working-from-home guidance, cancelled Christmas parties and some customers choosing to cut outside contact before Christmas.

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It added that those in supply chains to these sectors should also be supported, by unlocking funds from the Business Rates Relief Fund, which was announced in March but is still not up and running.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “It is incumbent on Ministers to consider an Economic Plan at the same time as it publicly debates further health restrictions.

“At the very least, Government should already be reducing the fixed tax burden levelled on businesses when it is actively attempting to reduce social contacts – if more onerous measures are being considered, then it is essential to consider more comprehensive support for businesses and jobs at the same time, such as re-introducing the Jobs Retention Bonus.

“In hospitality, we’re hearing of dire examples from our members of cancellations and no-shows on a vast scale, stock having to be thrown away, and staff hours reduced. This, in turn, is hammering firms in the supply chains of these businesses.”

Mike Cherry of the FSB which has called for a ten point plan to support struggling businesses

The FSB is also calling for the Government to reinstate the Covid SSP rebate for all SME employers; to re-introduce the Jobs Retention Bonus; to cut employer national insurance by raising the allowance from £4,000 to £5,000.

It’s plan also calls for the introduction of a ventilation grant scheme to assist small businesses in making their premises COVID-secure for the long term, a hardship Fund in line with Scotland and Wales, and the speeding up Local Authority delivery of Grants; and extending Pay As You Grow to CBILs loans.

Read More: Fylde coast hospitality sector hit hard by cancellations as Government announcement sparks customer fears

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