Almost all sectors of society have been hard hit by Covid-19.
Hotels have struggled, leisure centres and gyms have been void of muscle bound giants, and all of our high streets have been affected. Woven, a gentlemen’s outfitters from Elvet Bridge in Durham City has started a gov.uk petition to provide a temporary 5% reduction in VAT to assist all small business and high street shop owners in recovering from this economic turbulence.
It certainly seems that businesses have had some support from the Government. On the surface, furlough and bounce back loans seem ideal for soothing a panicking business owner who literally may not be able to put bread on the table.
There is a catch though. Whilst it looks good on the surface, both schemes loan money to the small businesses, and it must be paid back. While shops were forced to close, staff were furloughed and stayed at home. They were paid 80% of their wages to do so.
Although the staff won’t need to pay this back, the businesses certainly do. Whilst staff have been at home, perhaps watching re-runs of Coronation Street and drinking a touch too much, small businesses haven’t earned a penny. This creates a vacuum where they are not only trying to survive, but pay back the Government for the loans provided.
Reducing VAT by 5% will ease the worry and burden of our highstreet, which had few champions pre-Covid, and will undoubtedly struggle afterwards.
So, sign this petition, it’s free and you’ll be not only protecting jobs and local businesses, but force the Government to consider and debate on providing more assistance than just borrowed money and time: