Responding to the Chancellor’s economic update, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry, said:
“We’ve always said that the Chancellor should take a jobs first approach to today’s intervention and that’s exactly what he’s done.
“The Chancellor is absolutely right to stress that the job of getting the economy back on its feet has only just begun.
“Will this set of measures be enough to spur activity over the coming weeks? That’s something that will need to be kept under close review – we may need further action before the autumn.
“The key now is making sure these positive new measures work for all, especially the small firms that make-up 99% of our business community and employ 17 million people.
“The job retention bonus must be easy to access. We can’t have paperwork holding up this vital support.
“We pushed for incentives to take on apprenticeships and it’s good to see those delivered today.
“The funding and subsidies for apprenticeships, kickstarter roles and traineeships also need to be accessible. Young people are looking for work now.
“A VAT cut for food, accommodation and attraction businesses alongside the ‘eat out to help out’ initiative marks a critical step forward. We look forward to collaborating with policymakers on the latter to ensure that those who are deserving don’t miss out. The Treasury should now assess how it can build on this progress, taking another look at our regressive business rates system once we get to the autumn.
“The focus on green jobs and infrastructure is encouraging to see. Making small firms a central part this push will be critical to its success and local growth. Our late payment crisis has worsened throughout lockdown and we need to see government taking a zero tolerance approach on this front: if you can’t pay on time, you don’t win public contracts.
“Equally we need to know that green vouchers and incentives will be extended to small business premises as well households.
“Whilst the majority of small businesses have been supported by the Chancellor’s emergency measures, some have not. We need the Government to spell out how it will help the newly self-employed and company directors who have once again been overlooked this afternoon, and have now been left without help for more than 100 days during this incredibly difficult period. That fact should be recognised once we reach the autumn.”
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.