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Cllr Martin Wrigley: Chancellor must fix 'black hole' in small business support

July 2, 2021 8:43 AM
Originally published by Devon Liberal Democrats

TradespersonLiberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Newton Abbot and County Councillor for Dawlish has warned that small businesses face a 'black hole' in support, risking thousands of closures and job losses:

"Furlough begins to taper away and the business rates holiday comes to an end on July 1st. However, restrictions are set to remain in place until 19th July.

"This Government seems incapable of hearing the many voices telling them loudly and clearly how desperately small businesses need support to help them cope with the extra period of restrictions, and beyond.

"It is completely incomprehensible that the Chancellor is prepared to end so many of the support mechanisms before firms even have a chance to open their doors and start trading.

"Given that Devon has a higher than average number of small businesses, and that there was a 16% growth in new businesses in the county in 2020 compared with 2019, support for small businesses is crucial to our local economy.

"Why support them for this long and then not see them through to the end?

"The black-hole in business support they have created is particularly unfair to the night-time economy, which is being forced to set aside thousands of pounds before able to welcome a single customer.

"The Chancellor has taken his eye off the ball and needs to come up with a long term plan before it is too late. Closure and job losses in Devon are at stake."