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Government coronavirus schemes 'failing to provide support', BCC finds

11 Aug 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) schemes announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Summer Economic Update are failing to provide the support businesses need, according to the Coronavirus Business Tracker published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

According to July's survey, although 43% of firms intend to use the Job Retention Bonus, other support schemes have low take up.

Over half of businesses said they did not intend to use the Kickstart Scheme. A further 31% said they had not heard of the scheme.

In addition, 62% of firms said they did not intend to use grants for employers who take on trainees, and 65% of firms said they did not intend to access grants for those who hire apprentices.

Almost a third of firms expect to decrease the size of their workforce in the next three months, while 55% reported a slight or significant decrease in their cashflow.

Commenting on the findings, Claire Walker, Co-Executive Director at the BCC, said: 'Expected usage of schemes announced in the Summer Statement is relatively low, indicating they do not provide the right kind of support for many businesses at this critical time and a rethink is needed.

'With confidence and demand not returning at the scale firms need, the government must take radical steps to slash the tax burden around employment to help companies pay valued staff.'

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Registered in England, Company Registration number – 7906656. Registered Office – 58b High Street, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, MK11 1AQ. Registered with the Chartered Institute of Taxation as a firm of Chartered Tax Advisers. Registered to carry out audit work and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.