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Small businesses call for more Covid support

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Small business owners and self-employed workers have called on the government to help bridge an 18-day gap as Covid limits are extended, according to the Federation of Small Business (FSB).

Government financial support packages aimed at helping companies such as a business rates exemption and deferred VAT payments are due to wind down on 1 July. However, the government has confirmed that the lifting of restrictions will be delayed by four weeks until 19 July.

According to the FSB, small business owners are concerned that there will be a gap in financial provisions that will put additional pressure on self-employed workers and small business owners who are already struggling to cope.

While the government has agreed to continue the furlough scheme, changes that are due to be introduced at the start of July will require increased payments from businesses.

Commenting on the concerns of UK small business owners, FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said that many of the most fragile businesses are now at the end of their cash reserves.

He commented: “Last year the Government told us that it would do “whatever it takes” to help the 5.9 million sole traders and small businesses on which our recovery will depend.

“With ‘freedom day’ delayed and business support now peeling back, we are worried for those who suddenly face new costs, but are unable to raise revenue to pay for them. Some may now cease trading and let staff go,” he added. “Business support should be extended such as full furlough and full business rates relief.”

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