Business owners across Crawley have been commended by Henry Smith MP for the part they have played in responding to the coronavirus pandemic to mark Small Business Saturday (5th December 2020).
This year, Small Business Saturday came at the end of a hugely challenging period for small businesses, with many facing long periods of closure and reduced income due to the pandemic.
Now retail shops in England can reopen under the tiered system of restrictions, Henry has urged people to get out and support them on the high street in the run-up to Christmas.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, the Government has provided more than £280 billion to support lives and livelihoods. This includes;
- The furlough scheme, which has now been extended until the end of March and continues to support 9,000 jobs in Crawley.
- Grants for the self-employed, which have been made more generous in light of recent national and local lockdown announcements, and which have benefitted 8,700 people in Crawley.
- Loans and Government-backed grants which have helped businesses facing severely reduced income because of the pandemic.
- VAT cuts and business rates holidays for many small businesses, including those in the hospitality and retail sectors.
The Government is determined not to be blown off course by the pandemic and deliver on its promise, made at the General Election one year ago, to level up towns and communities across the whole country. To aid this, the Chancellor has recently announced a new £4 billion Levelling Up Fund to improve the infrastructure people and businesses rely on every day, following the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, and £1 billion Future High Streets Fund, which are helping to transform town centres across the country.
“There’s no doubting just how challenging 2020 has been for small businesses, which are the backbone of communities such as ours in Crawley.
“We’ve seen local businesses step up to help our community time and time again this year, and I pay tribute to all of those who have played their part in getting us through the pandemic.
“With restrictions on retail now lifted, I hope everyone in Crawley will get out to support our high streets and local businesses in the run-up to Christmas as Government works to ensure as many as possible are able to thrive into 2021.”