The Small Firms Association (SFA) is recommending that small business-owners review their financial positions, as Covid disruption and temporary closers continue and in advance of the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December.
SFA Chair, Graham Byrne, MD, Cardinal Capital, said: “Over the course of 2020 small businesses have faced enormous challenges and from 1 January 2021 will be managing a new trading relationship with the United Kingdom. As we move towards 2021, we are advising small business owners to review their financial positions considering both Brexit and possible rolling Covid-related restrictions.
“Whether it be cash and working capital to deal with this year’s crisis or capital funding to adapt to the challenges posed by Brexit now is the time to get facilities in place.
“Feedback from our members highlight that credit guarantees and greater state agency supports are some of the steps government can take to proof the economy for the year ahead. There is a mix of Brexit and Covid business supports currently available to small firms, however, less than 900 firms have been approved for the Credit Guarantee Scheme out of 1,817 applications and only 268 applications have been received for the Ready for Customs Grant since both were launched in September.
“SFA is very concerned about the poor pick up in existing Covid and Brexit support schemes and believes not enough is being done to promote them. We urge government to work with Brexit exposed business owners and employers without physical premises and those further down the supply chain impacted by Covid restrictions, to apply for these vital business supports.
“As we move to reopening the economy on December 2nd, we ask government to continue to work with business to ensure non-essential retail can open, the experience economy reopens and that a greater number of office workers return to city centres and office parks next year,” concluded Byrne.