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BCC President, Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith's open letter to the Prime Minister calling for longer-term support for businesses.

The letter reads: “The schemes you have put in place, in particular the Job Retention Scheme, have saved many firms and jobs so far. However, the current package is simply not enough to compensate for the severe, on- going economic impact of the pandemic. Businesses across the country, and across sectors, are on their knees and many will be spending Christmas making serious decisions about their future.

The letter includes policy proposals for support to enable businesses to plan with more certainty:

·Extend and expand business rates relief

·Increase small business rate relief threshold

·Offer immediate and more significant cash grant support

·Extend deferral on VAT

·Improve access to government lending schemes

·Support for the businesses and individuals excluded from help

The letter ends “Long-term, comprehensive support for businesses who will be the backbone of the economic recovery is not an optional extra. Failure to act now will lead to many more businesses shutting up shop for good and will be a waste of the investment Government has already made to keep firms afloat. We need businesses to survive and to be ready to power the recovery when the time comes. In short, supporting them now, will pay dividends in the future.”

Read the full letter  here.

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