In a speech to the Conservative Party Conference 2020, Rishi Sunak said that he wants to help small businesses to adapt while creating support and extending opportunities.
He also acknowledged the important role that smaller sized firms have played during the pandemic – this has been very much welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Responding to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s speech, FSB National Chair, Mike Cherry, said, “Small businesses and entrepreneurs are key to adapting and evolving to the changing economic landscape and are crucial to job creation and growth.
“The past nine months have been some of the toughest periods small businesses have ever faced, and this doesn’t look set to end any time soon. One of the most important things is having a public health system in place that enables businesses to operate including a fully functioning test and trace system.
“Various packages of support have been issued since the start of the crisis back in the spring which have undoubtedly saved millions of jobs. As we approach the winter and the prospect of tougher restrictions on the economy, more help is going to be needed to avoid thousands of businesses and jobs going under.”
Cherry added, “It remains absolutely critical that measures are announced to help those left out by these various packages in particular the newly self-employed and company directors. These individuals have been left with little or no income support for much of the year with little prospect in sight of a rebounding economy in the immediate future, the Government must address this area sooner rather than later.
“And with local lockdowns of varying degrees taking part right across the UK, it is vital that viable small firms impacted by curtailed footfall, curfews and forced closures are given the support they need to reopen again once measures are lifted.
“Looking to the Spring Budget, we hope the Chancellor will make a clear decision to go for growth, rather than removing money from the economy in the hope of a short-term balancing of the books. We need to see creative ways of helping jobs and small firms while at the same time ensuring ordinary workers and firms aren’t slapped with tax hikes and rising costs which would only further damage the hope of a recovery. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, but unless more support is issued soon, we could see this backbone collapse.”
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