Richmond Park News: 2 March 2021
Residents who have been reading my newsletter for some time will know that one of my highest priorities is supporting small and high street businesses, especially (but not exclusively!) in Richmond Park.
With the budget coming out tomorrow, I am anxious to learn what support there will be for businesses this year. I hope the Chancellor is listening to the owners of shops, services, cafes and pubs about what they need in order to survive. One in seven small firms could go bankrupt unless they receive additional support, potentially leaving 2.5 million people without a job. Some of the policies we need urgently are:
a revenue loss scheme for small businesses that lost money while they were closed
a zero business rates scheme for small businesses in 2021-22
relief on deferred VAT payments for businesses in the retail, hospitality and live events sectors
extension of the CJRS, SEISS and business support schemes until the end of 2021
support for individuals and businesses excluded from existing schemes
a green homes grant to generate new sustainable jobs
I appeared on Bloomberg radio yesterday to talk about the upcoming budget, and was asked about possible tax rises. I took the opportunity to say that the priority this year has to be supporting the individuals and businesses that have suffered the most this year, the people who have lost jobs and the small businesses struggling to survive. You can hear my interview here.
One of the sectors I am especially worried about is the events sector. I co-signed a cross party letter last month calling for more support for wedding businesses. We received a reply from the Government this week promising to do more for this sector, and I look forward to seeing it recover as lockdown is eased.
If you are planning a wedding this year, we have lots of local businesses that will be eager to assist you, including BOA Boutique in Richmond, whose lovely gowns I enjoyed looking at while talking to owner Sheila last year, and Titfertat Hats, also in Richmond, whose owner I spoke to this week about the difficulties her business has faced in the past year.
I am asking my constituents to join me in supporting small and local businesses wherever you can; they are the heart of our community. And of course I will keep fighting for their interests in Westminster.
SMALL BUSINESS SURGERY FOR PERSONAL CARE INDUSTRY
Another sector experiencing incredibly tough times is in the personal care industry. I am eager to meet with and listen to as many people as possible in this sector who have been impacted by Covid-19. To that end, I will be hosting another small business surgery, on March 12th, specifically for Richmond Park residents and businesses in the personal care industry. If you own a hairdresser, a nail salon or any other kind of personal care business, and you’d like to share your experience and find out what you can do to support yourself in the current climate, please email email@example.com.