Small firms concerned for recovery as retail figures fall again

Press Releases 17 Sep 2021

Amid another fall in retail sales, FSB warns of the scale of problems small firms are facing as they try to recover from the pandemic. Sales fell by 0.9% in August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, following a 2.8% fall in July.

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Mike Cherry said: “Small firms trying to recover from the pandemic are facing a barrage of hits to this which is now very visible as these latest retail figures show.

“Supply chain problems are hitting hard alongside spiralling employment costs and staff shortages, while the consumer-led recovery could be losing steam.

“News that the government’s regressive jobs tax will place 50,000 people out of work could not come at a worse time.  Retail businesses are nervous about their peak Christmas season, with an opaque winter covid plan likely to see trade restrictions installed at just a week’s notice. It feels to many like a sword of Damocles with a difficult winter ahead.

“Exporters, who are among some of the most innovative small firms, need more support, with delays at the border and soaring costs, or risk hampering their efforts to recover.

“Measures such as uprating the Employment allowance to support firms struggling with recruitment costs would help to free up cashflow to spur recovery of local communities, and promote hiring as furlough ends."

“Small firms are the backbone of our economy, if they continue to suffer, then the rest of the country suffers.”


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About FSB

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB’s) mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. As well as being the UK’s leading business campaigning organisation, FSB also offers its members a wide range of vital business services, including a 24/7 legal advice line, access to finance, cyber protection, events and a powerful voice heard in governments.

Media contact

Jordan Bhatt

Jordan Bhatt

Media Officer

[email protected]
07813 520 857 / 0207 592 3352

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 You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.