Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Today's Budget must support small businesses on the brink

The Government still hasn’t confirmed what, if any, support there will be for businesses from March - plunging small business owners and employees into uncertainty. 

Small businesses up and down the UK are in danger.

It has also left many of the smallest businesses without any real support throughout the whole of the pandemic.

Small businesses up and down the UK are in danger. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, one in seven small firms – a massive 906,000 businesses – could go bankrupt by April unless they receive additional support. This would leave 2.5 million people without a job, and have a catastrophic impact on our communities. Small firms are also struggling under a mountain of red tape, imposed on them by Boris Johnson’s terrible trade deal with the EU, with many now facing a nightmare of new expenses, such as duties, brokerage charges and new VAT costs. 

The Government has shown that it doesn’t care about small businesses.

The Government has shown that it doesn’t care about small businesses. The Chancellor is too busy talking to huge multinational corporations about how they have coped in the pandemic, rather than focussing on the needs of the hardworking people up and down the country who run small businesses which our communities rely on. Small businesses have been treated appallingly unfairly by the Government - all Coronavirus business support schemes are set to expire in March, creating huge uncertainty for companies. Last October, the Chancellor left businesses and their employees hanging by a thread when he refused to extend furlough until the last minute. The Government has left 700,000 of the smallest companies excluded from any real support, as owner-managers of limited companies are excluded from the SEISS and business grants. The priority of the Conservatives is on tax-exempt freeports and watering down workers’ rights, not supporting the UK’s 5.9 million small firms.

Small businesses are the key to creating opportunities for people

But small businesses are the key to creating opportunities for people, and powering our recovery from the pandemic. They will create the jobs that will solve the unemployment crisis. And they will lead the growth that will take us out of the economic crisis. That’s why we need to back small businesses and help them thrive.

We are demanding the Government use this budget to give small businesses a fair deal

That is why we are demanding the Government use this budget to give small businesses a fair deal and make sure they survive the next few months. They must: 

    1. Establish a Revenue Loss Scheme for small businesses, to compensate them for the money they are losing while they have been forced to close Zero Business Rates for Small Businesses in 2021-22. Give businesses in the retail, hospitality and live events sectors relief on their deferred VAT payments, so that cash is available as working capital when they are able to open back up. Extend the CJRS and SEISS schemes until the end of 2021, and bring the Excluded under government support in line with the r
ecommendations of the APPG for Gaps in Support
    Extend all current business support schemes until the end of the year

Follow this link for more info: http://www.libdems.org.uk/budget-brink