Small Businesses: Finance

Treasury written question – answered on 20th September 2021.

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Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps his Department is taking to help small and medium-sized businesses in (a) Coventry North East constituency, (b) Coventry, (c) the West Midlands and (d) England recover from the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately The Exchequer Secretary

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has provided historic levels of support to the economy. This is a total of £352 billion, delivered through job and income support, tax reliefs and deferrals, and cash loans and grants for businesses. However, the Government recognises that it takes time for businesses and the economy to bounce back – this is why many of the pillars of the support package announced at the Spring Budget were set to last well beyond the end of the Roadmap.

Over the course of the pandemic the Government has made up to £25 billion in cash grants available to protect businesses of all sizes in England and the jobs they support. Over £2 billion of discretionary business grant funding has been provided to local authorities via the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund, including a £425 million top-up announced at the Budget. A significant proportion of this £2 billion is still with local authorities and available to be allocated to businesses, including small and medium sized businesses, in need of support.

Businesses throughout the UK can also benefit from the Recovery Loan Scheme, which runs until the end of the year. This ensures viable businesses continue to have access to Government-backed finance they need throughout 2021.

Businesses of all sizes have been supported through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which have provided a total of £68.5 billion and £27 billion in support respectively to date. The CJRS has supported approximately 21,000 jobs in the Coventry North East constituency since its inception, and the SEISS has had over 15,000 claims in this area.

There is also significant continued relief on business rates and VAT for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for this financial year. And the commercial rent moratorium has been extended until March 2022.

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