To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a scheme to provide financial support to small independent retailers to increase their online sales platform to help tackle a drop in footfall as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
The Government is committed to supporting the UK’s small independent retailers make better use of technology and trading online, expanding their customer base from the local high street to a national and international marketplace.
Retailers are able to access an unprecedented package of support including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme and Bounce Back Loans Scheme. Additionally, businesses in Northern Ireland can access https://www.enterpriseni.com/ for further support.
The Start Up Loans Company, a subsidiary of the British Business Bank, delivers the Government’s Start Up Loans programme providing finance and support for businesses who struggle to access other forms of finance.
Tech Nation, which receives grant funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, provides a range of resources to support the growth of digital businesses in the UK. This includes a Digital Business Academy that provides free online courses on starting and growing a digital business.