73 per cent of Brits are confused about the support offered by the government to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), while 85 per cent do not believe the latest financial support package goes far enough.
According to new research from tax consultancy Tommys Tax, the recent extension of the coronavirus business support measures is insufficient for many small traders, SME owners and self-employed people.
Many have told Tommys Tax that that they were still not eligible for any government support at all, while others said that it was a “disgrace” that government funding would only cover 40 per cent of their average monthly trading profits across three months.
Furthermore, a forthcoming tax rise would leave 55 per cent of SMEs struggling to pay the extra costs, with four per cent saying they would stop working completely as they could get more money on benefits.
“The new measures are welcomed as an improvement, but 40 per cent still leaves the self-employed struggling to survive and too many (around a third) will be excluded due to the eligibility criteria,” said Tommy McNally, tax expert and founder of Tommys Tax.
“Small businesses and freelancers have seen their income drop dramatically during the pandemic. It’s a tough situation for everyone, but my clients believe they’re being treated unfairly compared to others. When you look at how little they’re still being offered, I have to agree with them.”
He added: “It’s great that the government is helping small businesses but with the prospect of a rise in tax, they need to do more or we’re going to see a huge number of small businesses closing for good, which is not only bad for the economy, but devastating for individuals and their families who have worked so hard over the years.”