As the uncertainty of lockdown continues, the Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, has called on the Government to provide more support for local businesses and the self-employed.
Whilst the Government has made funding available for some businesses, including some new discretionary funding, many have not been able to access any support, including those that do not pay rates, such as home-based businesses, mobile workers.
Businesses operating from slightly larger premises and those in supply chains for badly-affected sectors are also falling between the gaps of the support offered.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said, “It is not good enough, many businesses particularly small businesses and independents are missing out and the Government seem oblivious to their need.
“I am calling on the Government to provide more support to cover all businesses. More pressure needs to be put on banks to ensure the vital loan finance pledged by the Government actually reaches viable businesses without arduous assessment criteria.
“The point of the bounce back scheme is for banks to support firms during these difficult times, not be more pessimistic on lending than they would have been prior to the pandemic.”
The self-employed are still waiting to receive any support from the Government.
Mayor Dave added, “There have also been numerous issues with support for the self-employed, with payments not due until June and HMRC have a vague aspiration to contact those who can claim by mid-May.
“Again the Government need to step-up and make sure those entitled to support receive it as soon as possible.”