Jack Izzard, director of the The Great British Bounceback, has commented that a flexible furlough scheme is the best chance of mitigating hardship for businesses.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the launch of a second, more flexible furlough scheme, originally due on 1 August, has been brought forward to 1 July, with the previous phase closed to new entrants from 30 June.
Izzard said: “With the flexible furlough scheme the government is coaxing UK businesses to hand back the crutch rather than rip it away from them.
“When the furlough scheme is ultimately unwound, the sad reality is that thousands of businesses will unravel, but the flexible furlough scheme is the Treasury’s best shot at minimising the economic damage.
However, Izzard added that there will still be difficulties ahead for many UK businesses, and that innovation and agility will be necessary.
He said: “The world is a different place now and however delicate the government’s approach in tapering away the support businesses are receiving, when the monetary stabilisers are taken off a lot of firms will not be able to stay upright. The demand and volumes just won’t be there.
“But if they are anything, the UK’s businesses are agile and able to adapt. Survival is fundamental to the average small company’s DNA.
“Whether it’s creating a new business to serve a new market or pivoting an existing company to meet a new need, the trauma of the COVID-19 crisis is also providing a crucible of business creativity.
“Not all these businesses will succeed, but those that do will be led by people who go on to play a key role in the new normal.
“Seldom has government support been so well spent.”
The Great British Bounceback is a community of small and micro businesses seeking to rebound from the effects of the pandemic.