Home Coronavirus FSB calls on election candidates to help self-employed and small businesses

FSB calls on election candidates to help self-employed and small businesses

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Ahead of May’s local and mayoral elections, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged candidates to help the self-employed and small businesses recover as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease.

The FSB is asking candidates to back a three-point plan to boost this recovery. This plan includes measures to ensure business owners get grants quickly, encourage shoppers to return to UK high streets and, crucially for the self-employed, urges candidates to tackle the late payments problem which heavily impacts the self-employed workforce.

FSB England policy chair Ian O’Donnell said that, although the government’s road map out of lockdown had offered a degree of certainty to small businesses, this now needed to be paired with “collaboration and invention” to aid a successful reopening of the economy.

“That is why we are calling on all major parties and candidates at all levels across England, to commit to our three-point plan to back small business,” O’Donnell said. “When in office, those elected representatives must make sure their local small business and self-employed community is given the right support over the coming weeks and months.”

“The lifeline provided through local government over the past year has been invaluable to many, but some of the funding continues to stall, leaving small businesses, including those in the supply chain and owner-directors, without the money they desperately need. Those taking office can make a real difference in changing this by prioritising getting Restart grants out the door, pooling resources and sharing best practice in supporting local small firms.”

Regarding the late payments crisis, O’Donnell said that late payments currently amount to around £23 billion, having worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. He asserted: “We must work together across the region to take the steps needed to get our small businesses open on the strongest possible footing in order to make a full and fast business recovery.”

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