To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the survey by takepayments, published in February, which found that 30 per cent of small businesses have had to let staff go due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
7 April 2021
Through regular engagement with small and medium-sized businesses, the Government is aware of the issues highlighted by the results of the takepayments survey and recognises the individual impact on those that have lost jobs or had their livelihood affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Plan for Jobs measures announced last year provides significantly expanded employment support, (including extra Work Coaches) to help people who have become newly unemployed, and individuals who have fallen into longer term unemployment, whoever they are and wherever they live.
Further support will be announced shortly. DWP Train and Progress (TaP), a new DWP initiative aimed at increasing access to training opportunities for claimants, will see an extension to the length of time people can receive Universal Credit while undertaking work-focused study.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods across the UK, spending £352 billion on its package of support for affected businesses. This package includes grants, loans, and business rates relief, as well as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which has been used by 1.3 million employers to support 11.2 million jobs at a value of £53.8 billion. The CJRS has been extended to September 2021.
The Budget announced on 3 March 2021 also sets out how it will support a plan for recovery that focusses on backing business, improving skills, and creating jobs. As part of this support, businesses of any size will still be able to access loans and other forms of finance worth up to £10m via the new Recovery Loan Scheme which launched on 6 April, replacing the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans scheme. The Restart Grant supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.