Firms raise concerns over lockdown support

Firms have voiced concerns the Treasury’s £4.6 billion support package does not go “far enough” to help small businesses.

Earlier this week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a raft of measures to help businesses impacted by the latest COVID-19 lockdown.

The measures announced included a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 and a further £594 million to be allocated to local authorities and devolved administrations to support firms that are not eligible for the grants.

However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the new lockdown funds do not go far enough to support firms impacted by the pandemic.

Mike Cherry, national chair of the FSB, said:

"For many, it just won't be enough for businesses who are already under the cosh and on the brink.

"These funds come after a disappointing festive period and are followed by a last-minute lockdown and do not go far enough to match the scale of the crisis that small firms are facing.”

Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce added although the support is welcomed, it is “not going to be enough to save many firms”.

He said:

“We need to see a clear support package for the whole of 2021, not just another incremental intervention.

“The Government must move away from this drip-feed approach and set out a long-term plan that allows all businesses of all shapes and sizes to plan, and ultimately survive.

“Many smaller firms won’t qualify for the full headline amounts set out in the Chancellor’s statement, and will be left struggling to see how this new top-up grant will help them out of their cashflow problems.”

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The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed