Responding to the launch of the Treasury Select Committee’s ‘Economic Impact of Coronavirus: the Challenges of Recovery’ report, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry, said:
“There’s a lot to welcome in these carefully considered cross-party recommendations. With the job retention scheme fully winding down over the next seven weeks, policymakers will need to look closely at measures to stem mass unemployment, including a successor scheme.
“The priority should be protecting viable small businesses – and all the jobs they provide – that have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus crisis, including those caught by local lockdowns, subject to continued national restrictions, or with staff that have directly suffered because of Covid.
“Equally we can’t ignore the fact that this recession will change the labour market permanently. It’s vital that incentives to create future-proofed roles – not least the kickstart initiative – are made to work for small firms.
“Then of course there are those who have been left out of support mechanisms entirely – including company directors and the newly self-employed. The Treasury Select Committee has rightly pointed out that these individuals are in urgent need of government support.
“The bounce back loan scheme has been a huge success – helping more than a million firms secure swift cash injections to see them through an incredibly challenging six months. We back this report’s recommendation for a student loan-type approach to repayment of these facilities – giving small firms the confidence to invest, hire and expand today, rather than hoard cash in fear of what tomorrow will bring. The rapidly approaching November deadline for applications should also be extended given the economic climate and delays faced by many in accessing bounce back loans.
“The Treasury Select Committee’s assessment that tax rises at the forthcoming autumn Budget would stifle a nascent recovery is the right one. We need a pro-business approach from the Government now more than ever. It should stick to its manifesto commitments on tax, and NICs in particular, while investing in initiatives to support entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation.”
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.