[Re: The party’s over, yesterday]
Small businesses will undoubtedly be hit by the new restrictions implemented as part of Plan B. These businesses have only just started on their tentative recovery after nearly two years of this crisis, and many need the winter trading boost to get through to 2022 with their heads above water. In particular, retail, hospitality, events and the night time economy are going to be hugely hit by the new restrictions at a time when they needed to grow, not decline.
Small businesses urgently need support to manage cash flow over the next few months, and current interventions, such as cutting business rates by 50 per cent for some sectors, do not go far enough. Until we can safely get businesses back up to full speed, we need rates to be completely cut, we need the recovery loan scheme to be extended, and we need as much leeway on cash flows we can possibly get from organisations like HMRC on delaying tax bills and utility companies too.
Without some intervention, small businesses will struggle to get through yet another blow to their income, even with the heroic adaptations that many have done over the pandemic so far.
It is not just for government, banks and big business to step in however; we can all play a role in supporting these businesses back on their feet.
We can all support local small businesses this Christmas and through the winter. We need to step up to support those businesses that have supported us so much throughout the Covid-19 crisis.