5 December marked Small Business Saturday.
The 5.9 million small businesses across our country have stepped up during the Covid crisis. We’ve got to stand by them and stand up for them to ensure they get the support they need to survive.
From manufacturing life-saving PPE and ventilators, offering free meals for children during half term, to doing everything they can to protect customers and employees – small businesses have supported the effort to tackle the virus, keep local communities safe, and ensure no child goes to bed hungry.
Shops, pubs and restaurants, manufacturers, hotels and hairdressers, beauty salons and suppliers, breweries and bakeries, and many more small businesses of all kinds are the beating heart of communities across the country and they’ve adapted brilliantly in tough circumstances.
But small businesses are struggling and facing a serious cash crisis after eight months of difficult trading conditions. Labour is warning that many small businesses reopening this week may not make it to Spring because of the Government’s irresponsible choices, as new analysis reveals an estimated 390,000 small businesses are worried they won’t survive the next three months.
We fear the Government is letting small businesses down. Most have received far less support during the second national lockdown than they did during the first and these shrinking grants simply won’t cover the running costs of the hardest-hit firms. Meanwhile businesses shut in all but name like suppliers to the worst-affected sectors, and those in the wedding and events industries, have been left out in the cold or faced really inadequate support.
Labour stands up for small businesses and has repeatedly called on Ministers to protect businesses and save jobs, by setting out a proper plan to support businesses through the crisis. We’re calling on the Government to recover jobs in every part of the country, retrain workers with an emergency programme providing help right now, and rebuild business with a support package that reflects the level of business need and severity of restrictions in different areas.