Responding to the announcement about which parts of England are being placed into each Tier, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Mike Cherry said: “This will be tough news for many small firms, but the announcement today will be a crucial step to ensuring that small businesses are able to plan and prepare for the weeks ahead.
“These past nine months have been among some of the most difficult that small firms have ever had to endure and that hardship looks set to continue.
“For those placed in Tier 3 where the tightest restrictions are set to be implemented, the Government must make sure that all firms are given the proportionate levels of support that they’ll need to survive through what normally will be normally the busiest time of the year. Pubs and bars in particular will face a very difficult few weeks ahead and they will need targeted support to survive into the New Year.
“Small firms in all Tiers will also want reassurance about how long these measures will remain in place, and the longer term measures we can expect to face in the New Year. In order to safeguard jobs and livelihoods, the Government must set out a roadmap as soon as possible.
“In the Spending Review yesterday, we heard very little about the importance of business and private sector job creation and it was also a missed opportunity to help company directors and the newly self-employed who have been left with little or no support all year. Small firms and the self-employed living in Tier 3 zones in particular will be desperate for the Government to introduce new measures to address the gaping holes in support that remain untouched.
“Meanwhile we would urge the public to continue to shop local, shop small and shop small online where possible. Small businesses for many are the beating heart of our communities and we must band together to make sure we save small firms and jobs from being lost right across the nation.”
Rowena Howie, FSB London Policy Chair, said: “These have been trying and difficult times for so many, and with the festive season upon us it’s never been more important to see trading resume once again. Many small businesses in London will be issuing a sigh of relief that they can operate in Tier 2 in what is the busiest month of the year for many. However, many challenges are still prevalent for those in the hospitality and tourism related sectors and we must encourage people to support them in their time of need, and, the Government should provide a strong, proportionate level of support.”