Small Businesses in the UK Struggle Despite Government’s Fiscal Measures
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
A recent survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reveals a worrying outlook for the state of small firms across Britain that have been forced to close down amid the pandemic-led shutdown. Since the pandemic started in the UK, 41% of small businesses have closed down their operations but 35% are uncertain about whether they will be able to reopen once the lockdown eases.
Even though 71% of the firms surveyed have benefited from the government’s job retention scheme for their furloughed workers, companies are facing difficulties in paying their rents or mortgages amid the ongoing crisis. The UK government has announced an extension of its job retention scheme until the end of October, a move that could provide some relief to affected small businesses in the coming months.
Due to the pandemic, 21% of small firms that exported their goods have experienced a reduction or cancellation of international sales. The government’s loan scheme has also been unable to offer much help to many struggling businesses as they have not yet gained access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
According to FSB national chairman Mike Cherry, “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been felt right across the small business community, with thousands of small firms all over the UK fearing for their futures. The government has stepped-up with a huge range of support for millions of small businesses and sole traders, from income support schemes, to cash grants, to help with accessing finance and business rates breaks.”