Facebook - Birmingham Business Twitter - Birmingham Business Instagram - Birmingham Business

Chamber calls for cash to be reallocated

Business leaders in Greater Birmingham have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak in a bid to ensure more than £1bn in returned Covid-19 support cash is used to help the hardest-hit firms.

The letter from Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce calls on the Chancellor to ring-fence funds returned to the Treasury to support businesses in sectors that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic – and those who have missed out on existing schemes.

It follows reports that supermarket giants Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have returned more than £1bn in business rates relief. A number of smaller firms have also returned unused Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme funds.

The letter, co-signed by Chamber chief executive Paul Faulkner and president Steve Allen, says: “Through recent media reports we have become aware that over £1bn in business rates relief alone is expected to be returned by Tesco, Morisons and Sainsbury’s.

“We are also aware of a small number of local businesses intending to return Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme payments. We appreciate that resources are limited and that the Government has already delivered an unprecedented package of support for impacted businesses, but these unprecedented times are not over yet.

“We believe these unexpected funds - which had already been allocated to supporting businesses – should be ring-fenced and used to support those businesses - and their suppliers - most impacted by the current economic climate and COVID measures and those excluded from current support schemes.

“As the Prime Minister said himself, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ and saving previously viable businesses and jobs through this short-term dramatic disruption will result in a stronger economic and social outlook (and associated higher tax returns and lower defaults on Government backed loans) for many years to come.

“A vaccine is on its way, the end at last appears in sight - let’s not let more businesses fall at this final hurdle. We urge you to use these unexpected funds to #BackOurBusinesses.”

Pictured: Paul Faulkner

Biggest ever slump hits region's firms

Chamber report reveals extent of pandemic impact

16th June 2020

Free toolkit will provide practical support

Training company launches new resource for managers

30th April 2020

Funding brings support for SMEs

Unity Trust Bank initiative will help businesses struggling during pandemic

15th May 2020

Report reveals cashflow worries

Chamber says Coronavirus has heightened existing problems

15th April 2020

Mental health initiatives advice on offer

Social enterprise is supporting employees during pandemic

12th May 2020

Business chamber extends virus advice campaign

Scheme offers guidance to firms who struggle to get Coronavirus support

22nd September 2020

Companies get share of multi-million pound boost

SME manufacturers urged to take up post pandemic funding

2nd July 2020

CORONAVIRUS: Cash now needs to get to businesses quickly

Reaction to chancellor's latest financial help package

18th March 2020

Apprentices keep jobs throughout pandemic

Training specialist helps ensure 30 trainees retain positions

23rd June 2020

Businesses believe they will need a new approach

Research warns of shift from restructuring to insolvency

7th September 2020

Mark O'Sullivan

CEO, PPE for the UK Ltd

28th September 2020

Trade body calls for greater clarity

Insolvency and restructuring organisation predicts more insolvencies

26th February 2021

Flexible financing

Backing SMEs during the most challenging times

26th June 2020

Chamber says more support needed

Business leaders warn hardest hit need more help

24th September 2020

Grants kick off new wave of support

SMEs can access funding to adapt after pandemic

9th October 2020