Business owners are asking 'has the Government done enough to help?'
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As we hunker down into our third national lockdown, many business owners are staring out of their windows into a financial abyss and are asking “has the Government done enough to help?”
It is a very loaded question which inevitably attracts negative responses, generally from those who are understandably not happy with the financial tightrope they are currently balanced on, yet it appears, for some, Covid-19 may have provided the ultimate get out of jail free card.
Almost a year ago the country faced its first lockdown as politicians, scientists and NHS staff had to adapt to the rapidly-changing circumstances the country was facing. Rishi Sunak announced unprecedented support for Britain’s business community in the form of grants and Government-backed loans but as many know, the system was left open for the unscrupulous, as many companies were formed in order to obtain a grant only to be wound up once it had been received thus potentially depriving many honest hard working people access to funds which would help keep their heads above water.
And all this talk of multi-million-pound companies going to the wall while their owners’ parade around the decks of their superyachts in Monaco does little for the wellbeing of the small business owner who is completely reliant on the next grant just to re-open their business when the Government says they can.
In real terms it could be argued that the Government have no legal obligation whatsoever to put their hand into their pocket and support businesses however, the options have limited appeal for them if they want to see Britain great again so there was a certain inevitability after the announcement of the first lockdown that it was only a matter of time before financial assistance was offered.
When it arrived, it provided a welcome relief for many who had begun to think that the apocalypse was looming, however for some who rent commercial property the grant did not even cover the rent never mind utility, insurance, maintenance, accountants, and all the accepted costs of running a business.
Wait a minute... you have no business rates to pay, you receive a grant under lockdown, you can apply for a Government backed loan and you can furlough your staff!
But none of this provides the profit that you would have been making whilst running the business although it could easily be argued that the Government are not responsible for providing you with a profit. However, many companies are going to be faced with paying back loans years after Covid has been tamed, but at least they still have a business...