Firms welcome Government’s ‘winter economy plan’

As the new ‘winter economy plan’ has come into place, small businesses have welcomed the scheme to protect jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday (24 September), Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined new measures to help the economy as the furlough scheme comes to an end.

Sunak announced the Government will subsidise employees wages for anyone who can work at least 33% of their contracted hours.

Through the scheme, employers and the Government will each cover  a third of the employee’s pay for every hour not worked, meaning employees receive at least 77% of their usual salary.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, commented in response to the announcement:

“The UK’s small businesses are facing an incredibly difficult winter. Today’s support package is the flipside of the coin to Tuesday’s COVID-19 business restrictions.

“It is a swift and significant intervention, extending emergency SME loans, creating new wage support for small employers and the self-employed, and providing cashflow help on VAT deferrals and new time to pay for any tax bills to HMRC.”

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, added: 

"Unions have been pushing hard for continued jobs support for working people. We are pleased the Chancellor has listened and done the right thing. This scheme will provide a lifeline for many firms with a viable future beyond the pandemic.”  

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of the British Independent Retailers Association, concluded:

“We are supportive of further measures to support businesses and protect employment. But we are disappointed that there was no mention of an extension to the business rates holiday beyond April 2021.”

Speak to us about any of the measures in the winter economy plan.