“Challenging times” for small businesses says FSB

The Federation of Small Businesses has warned of challenging times ahead

The Federation of Small Businesses has warned of challenging times ahead - Credit: Archant

Small firms in the Huntingdonshire are facing an “extremely challenging” time, an organisation which represents businesses has said.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said it was pushing hard to ensure government schemes, such as grants and loans, were being implemented as soon as possible.

Huntingdonshire District Council, which will be responsible for carrying out some of the government measures, said on its website that it was still waiting for guidance and referred businesses to the government website.

Jade Uko, development manager of the FSB’s Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire branch, said: “This is an extremely challenging time for businesses in Huntingdon.

“Here at the FSB we have mobilised quickly, making sure we are lobbying the government daily and representing small businesses and the self-employed at this critical time.”

She said: “We have had a number of successes including business rates, grants, employee costs, loans, rents, increased access to Universal Credit, local authority hardship funds, and things like deferred VAT and no June self-assessment, as well a crucial help for the self-employed.

“We’re continuing to push hard to make sure all of the measures which have been announced are implemented as quickly as possible and we are absolutely committed to supporting all small businesses during this national emergency in every way that we can.”

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Jade said she did not know at this stage the timescale for Huntingdonshire District Council to take part in the government aid package since local authorities were operating in different ways.

The Hunts Post has asked the district council about its programme for the government-backed aid package but no-one could be contacted.

It said on its website: “The government is introducing various new business rates reliefs and grants.

“We expect to receive more information on how these will be administered in the next few days and we will publish further details on this website as soon as we can.”

The council said: “In the meantime, please do not contact us by phone or email as we cannot provide an additional information at this stage.

“The most up to date information can be searched on www,gov.uk.”

The council had already printed its business rates bills when the relief schemes were announced and was awaiting guidance as to how the reliefs should be implemented it plans to send adjusted bills before the first instalment becomes due.