Support for Businesses Must Continue Amid Restrictions

British Chamber of Commerce calls for continuing support for businesses. Image: BCC

Support for businesses must continue as the UK endures a further four weeks of lockdown, the British Chamber of Commerce has warned.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs may not last the distance and the government must do all it can to lessen “the hammer blow.”.

Claire Walker, Co-Executive Director of the influential British Chamber of Commerce, said, “Businesses will be disappointed by this setback to the reopening in England. This delay to the removal of restrictions will come as a hammer blow to those firms who must remain closed, and to those who continue to see their ability to trade severely restricted.

“Many firms have fought incredibly hard to stay afloat throughout the pandemic and are struggling with the damage done to their cashflow and revenue. They  are desperate to play their part in the recovery. We must ensure they receive the support, and the clarity, that will give them a chance to do that.

“It would be extraordinary if we saw government retracting support to businesses now, given that some firms will remain unable to fully trade and others effectively forced not to trade at all,” she said.

Walker called for cash grants and an extension of the VAT deferral scheme for stricken businesses.

“The government must provide further cash grants, at least equivalent to levels provided during the first lockdown, and delay the tapering of government payments into the furlough scheme, planned for the start of July. The government should also consider extending the trade credit reinsurance scheme beyond the end of June to minimise possible disruptions in insurance coverage,” she said.

“Government should work with lenders to ensure that appropriate forbearance is in place for those who have used government lending schemes and already started to repay their loan without being able to open fully.

“An extension of the VAT deferral scheme and the 100 per cent Business Rates relief for eligible businesses should also be considered given the length of the delay and the impact on hospitality and leisure firms,” she added.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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