Dish it, Rishi! Sunak asked for extra money as 250,000 businesses face collapse
Rishi Sunak urged to offer extra business support by expert
Chairman Mike Cherry urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide the extra support to businesses after his organisation released a report stating 250,000 firms are to go if they do not receive additional funding. Mr Cherry said that support for businesses ‘has not matched’ increased coronavirus restrictions and labelled the situation facing companies across the UK as “pretty dire.”
Talking to Sky News following the publication of the FSB’s quarterly index survey, Mr Cherry said: “This is pretty dire, it is the worst we have seen the industry since we launched it pretty much a decade ago in 2010 after the financial crisis.
“What we are saying is that business support, especially to those who are not entitled to most of it apart from the furlough scheme, has not matched the increased restrictions that we have seen come in.”
He added: “A quarter of those surveyed have decreased the number of employees in their businesses, a further one in seven are looking to continue doing that over the next three months.
“Nearly half of exporters are looking to see a considerable drop in exports and those who are seeing reduced or forecast reduced profits has spiralled from just over a third to nearly a half.”
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Last week Mr Sunak pledged more handouts to businesses following Boris Johnson’s decision to trigger a third national lockdown across England.
The Chancellor’s latest measures included a £594million emergency fund for councils to support other struggling firms in their areas. The Chancellor also refused to rule out extending the furlough scheme beyond April to partly fund the wages of workers at closed firms.
The new measures took the cost of the Government fight against Covid to over £300billion.
Under the intervention, businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries are received a one-off grant worth up to £9,000.
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Thousands more pubs, restaurants and other hospitality firms have been forced to close under the new lockdown rules which came into last week.
Treasury officials said the cash will be provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions and is expected to benefit over 600,000 properties.
In total, the grants are expected to cost taxpayers £4billion, with the size of grants determined by the rateable value of the premises.
Smaller pubs, restaurants and other outlets will be able to claim up to £4,000; medium-sized ones £6,000.
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Mr Sunak provided £594million to local authorities and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to support other businesses that might be affected by the restrictions but are not eligible for the grants.
According to real estate specialists, Altus Group, 401,690 non-essential shops, 64,537 pubs/restaurants, 20,703 personal care facilities and 7,051 gyms and leisure centres are now closed.
Mr Cherry has previously argued for additional financial support for business saying: “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, 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.”
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