Is the UK government doing enough to help SMEs survive the Covid-19 outbreak?

Covid-19 | Video

Business Leader Question of the week

In a week where the Government has once again clarified the fine print of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, estimates have shown that the aforementioned Scheme could cost upwards of £40bn for just 3 months. The Government has also been encouraging businesses to take advantage of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) but is it enough to help SMEs come out on the other side of this unprecedented pandemic?

We put out the call on our social media channels and picked through the responses.

We want to hear from you!

Click here for details on how to appear in next week’s video.

This week’s contributors:

Marcus Ereira

Co-Founder, Central 23

“I’m a co-founder at Central 23. We supply around 5,000 stores globally with the absolute best greeting cards, notebooks and planners. All of our products are designed right here in London and manufactured across the United Kingdom. The Government has been incredibly supportive to businesses within certain sectors.

“Unfortunately, companies like ours and others throughout the supply chain are often overlooked. We are still having to pay business rates for our empty offices and manufacturers that we work with are still having to pay business rates for their idol factories. One way the Government can help today is by offering the same business rates exemption for all companies.”

Luke Shelley

Co-Founder, Central 23

“I think the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been generally positive. Measures like the Job Retention Scheme work well because they’re helping businesses cover costs, while also ensuring financial stability for employees. Sectors including retail and leisure have been heavily impacted by the Government’s social distancing efforts and understandably the Chancellor stepped in with a business rate relief package.

“I co-founded a business called Central 23, a stationary publisher, just under 4 years ago. We sell greeting cards and notebooks to the high street, which means our revenue is hugely reliant on the retail sector. Obviously, as you know, high street stores have closed. Quite a few retailers have cancelled orders and it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting that much business over the next few months. I think the Government can do more to help businesses further down the supply chain like ours by scraping this year’s rates for all businesses.

“Help us out Rishi!”

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