Business people across Barrow and Furness have been commended for the part they have played in responding to the coronavirus pandemic to mark Small Business Saturday.
This year, Small Business Saturday comes 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.
Simon Fell MP has praised businesses across Barrow and Furness for stepping in to support the local community throughout 2020.
And now retail shops in England can reopen under the tiered system of restrictions, he has urged people to get out and support them on the high street in the run-up to Christmas.
Throughout the course of 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 2,100 jobs in Barrow and Furness.
- Grants for the self-employed, which have been made more generous in light of recent national and local lockdown announcements, and which have benefitted 4,000 people in Barrow and Furness.
- Loans and Government-backed grants which have helped businesses facing severely reduced income because of pandemic.
- VAT cuts and business rates holidays for many small businesses, including those in the hospitality and retail sectors.
The Conservative 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.
Commenting, Mr Fell said: “There’s no doubting just how challenging 2020 has been for small businesses, which are the backbone of places like Barrow, Ulverston, Dalton, Askam, Broughton and across Furness.
“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 Barrow and Furness will get out to support our high streets and local businesses in the run up to Christmas.”