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Business confederation calls for six month furlough

Coronavirus
Coronavirus Picture: PIRO4D from Pixabay

EXTRA support for businesses is “sorely needed” in light of the third lockdown.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says that new lockdown grants will come as a relief to companies up and down the country.

And this has been echoed by the Local Government Association.

On Tuesday, January 5, the UK government announced a new grants scheme to protect jobs as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

This includes an extra £4.6 billion to support retail, hospitality and leisure businesses which have been impacted by the pandemic.

This includes one-off grants worth up to £9,000, and nearly £600 million to support other impacted enterprises.

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at CBI said: “With businesses facing a third lockdown, there are other steps that can help provide a bridge to the all-important economic recovery.

“For some, demand evaporated overnight.”

Cllr Richard Watts, of the LGA, says he is pleased to hear about the new scheme but further details need to be released as soon as possible.

“Councils continue to work tirelessly to support communities and businesses through this crisis,” he said.

“Emergency grants have been a vital lifeline to businesses struggling and worried about the future.”

According to Cllr Watts, local councils distributed more than £11 billion to 880,000 small businesses across the country in grant schemes last year.

“Councils stand ready to work again to get this new government funding out to businesses, but need details on how the scheme will work and the funding to distribute as soon as possible.”

But the CBI is calling for more support.

Ms Newton-Smith is pushing for the government to extend the furlough scheme until the end of June to offer more breathing rooms for struggling businesses.

She added: “With the vaccine rollout now underway, and increasing mass rapid testing, there really is a brighter future within reach.

“Maintaining steadfast support for firms during this painful period will help ensure the recovery is delayed for as short a time as possible.”

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