Retail Businesses: Financial Support - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:18 pm on 21st September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Andrews Baroness Andrews Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords), Chair, Common Frameworks Scrutiny Committee, Chair, Common Frameworks Scrutiny Committee 1:18 pm, 21st September 2020

My Lords, the changes for small businesses that the Minister mentions are very welcome. Does he agree with me, however, that it is the larger stores that face the greatest difficulties? Over 13,000 stores have closed in the year to date and 125,000 retail staff have lost their jobs. One in three of retail staff are aged under 25, and 146,000 of them have lost their jobs in the last quarter. In the light of potential further restrictions, will the Government look urgently at providing more access to finance and at extending business rates relief and the furlough scheme, in a targeted way, to stem the further collapse of retail and, indeed, the high street itself?