Chancellor update marks significant step forward, say small firms, but more help needed

Press Releases 24 Sep 2020

National Chairman Mike Cherry responds to Rishi Sunak's speech on Thursday 24 September 2020

Responding to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s speech concerning his Winter Economic Plan, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry, said:

“There are many measures to welcome here that will make a real difference. It’s particularly encouraging to see that all small businesses will be able to access the new job support scheme without facing excessive paperwork, with a guarantee of help for the next six months.

“News of the ‘Pay as You Grow’ approach will mean relief for hundreds of thousands of firms, giving them the confidence to invest and hire today rather than tomorrow, providing a crucial option to suspend repayments for six months. We called for an extension to the deadline for emergency finance facilities and that extension has rightly been delivered today. The assurance on credit ratings will be hugely welcomed by many worried small business owners.

“On the tax side, the greater space being promised on deferrals and the maintenance of the 5% VAT rate for hard hit sectors are much needed, promising to shore-up demand for firms that are especially struggling. The extended deadlines for deferrals of VAT and self-assessment tax bills will help avoid cliff-edges in the future.

“We look forward to more details on the successor to the self-employment income support scheme. It’s right to provide support to the self-employed equivalent to that offered to employees, and the scheme should be opened up to those excluded from the first round of support measures.

“We are concerned that the Chancellor had nothing to say today on support for those who were left out of the first round of support measures, not least the newly self-employed and company directors. The Government urgently needs to come forward with an emergency relief package for these groups which have dutifully paid their taxes and deserve help too.  

“Equally, local lockdown grants in all four nations should now be extended to firms forced to closed that were counting on reopening in the coming weeks but now face the most difficult of winters. Today’s statement is a very welcome and significant step forward, but there must be more to come.”   

About FSB

As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.

FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.

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