BCC calls for business rates relief extension

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is urging the Government to provide extra financial support to businesses across the UK suffering from COVID-19 restrictions.

The BCC is calling for an extension of business rate relief, VAT deferrals and an immediate round of cash grant support to businesses worth around £25,000, the equivalent of funds available in the first national lockdown.

According to the organisation, businesses cannot “afford to wait” until the Chancellor's Budget, which is scheduled for 3 March 2021, and need support now in order to plan for the weeks ahead.

Adam Marshall, director-general of the BCC, said the damage caused by the pandemic is widespread and goes beyond the “very visible casualties hit by repeated stop-start lockdowns”.

He said:

“The drip-feed approach to business support measures has meant many firms simply cannot plan for the future.

“We are urging the Government to urgently adopt a package of measures that covers the whole of 2021, and that takes away the cliff-edges firms face in a few weeks’ time when reliefs, forbearance and furlough are set to end.

“Many companies simply can’t wait until the March budget. Action is needed now.”

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