Chancellor Rishi Sunak urged to help small firms survive by letting them reclaim cost of making workplaces Covid-safe

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THE Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged to help small firms survive by letting them reclaim the cost of making workplaces virus-safe.

Industry chiefs have also warned that tax rises would “risk stifling any nascent recovery”.

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The Federation of Small Businesses said one in five of its members have had to cut staff due to the crisis.

The same number expect their performance to be “much worse” over the next three months despite no lockdown.

FSB chairman Mike Cherry said: “Government should do more to help small firms putting protective measures in place.

“In England, they’ve had to absorb the costs of making their premises safe for re-opening.

“Enabling them to reclaim expenses linked to these measures will help to keep our high streets safe.”

Hopes of a swift bounce back are highest amongst the construction and food services sectors but lowest in retail and entertainment.

The FSB said hiring activity, profits and exports among small businesses hit an all-time low in April, May, and June.

It also warned some workers, like company directors and the newly self-employed, have fallen through the cracks of Government support schemes.

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