Commerce boss hits out at 'inadequate support once again' from government
- Credit: Archant/UK Government
The chief executive of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce believes that the government has provided “additional, yet inadequate support once again” for businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
John Bridge spoke after chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged £4.6 billion in support grants to help keep businesses afloat during the latest national lockdown and up until spring.
However, Mr Bridge said that businesses will be “baffled and disappointed” that additional support was not provided during prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on January 4 that England was entering a third lockdown since last March.
“Tens of thousands of firms are already in a precarious position, and now face a period of further hardship and difficulty,” Mr Bridge said.
“Billions have already been spent helping good firms to survive this unprecedented crisis and to save jobs.
You may also want to watch:
“These businesses must not be allowed to fail now, when we are told the vaccine rollout provides light at the end of this long tunnel.”
Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure will receive one-off grants of up to £9,000 under the government’s support package.
- 1 Mum caught driving with revoked license on school run gets car seized
- 2 Vicar's concerns over 'hugely vulnerable' rough sleepers
- 3 Police officer sacked for racially abusing colleague at Christmas party
- 4 Man in critical condition after single-vehicle crash
- 5 Cambridgeshire police officer dismissed after conduct hearing
- 6 Rural crime police recover dog in ‘poor state’ while on site check
- 7 Woman threatened for not wearing mask describes fear for safety
- 8 Police hunt homemade go-kart ‘causing anti-social behaviour’
- 9 Residents get chance to contribute to church's Bible project
- 10 Podcast revisits the mysterious missing case of Terry McSpadden
Despite this, Mr Bridge is calling for the prime minister and the chancellor to set out a clearer strategy to help businesses, particularly smaller firms, survive throughout the year.
“The financial support for businesses needs to be stepped up in line with the devastating restrictions being placed on them. Otherwise, many of these firms may simply not be there to power our recovery when we emerge once again,” he said.
“The government must move away from this drip-feed approach and set out a long-term plan that allows all businesses of all shapes and sizes to plan, and ultimately survive.”
One start-up firm to feel the full force of Covid-19 is FRESH in Ely, who revealed they were not receiving any furlough support from the government during ‘Lockdown 3’.
Mr Bridge, who will also press the government on the job retention bonus to assist business costs and cash flow, said support must be widened to increase their chances of long-term survival.
“Support must be sufficient to cover not just those on the front line of retail, hospitality and leisure, but also firms in supply chains and wider business communities who are also feeling the devastating impacts of these restrictions,” he added.
“To be absolutely clear, it means additional support for businesses who’ve already had some help and first-time support for the millions who have had none.”