Another crazy day in the world as we know it now uncder the threat of Coronavirus.
Both as a Non-Executive Board Director and Member of Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and as a Self Employed Consultant Rishi Sunak’s announcement regarding a support package for Self Employed has been eagerly awaited and I was invited to discuss with Phil Upton on the BBC CWR Breakfast show today.
To hear the interview, visit BBC CWR Sound Breakfast Show Friday 27 March 2020 and forward to 7:25 am.
As a sales and marketing consultant in the events industry connecting event buyers with hotels and venues, I know only too well the impact of the Coronavirus as the travel, tourism, events and hospitality industries took the biggest hits first, and many of my associates left fearing the worst for the future.
From early February we were seeing flights cancel, business enquiries dry up and events and contracts simultaneously postpone and cancel indefinitely.
We are all without doubt facing a huge battle, especially given the current set of circumstances.
The Chancellor has been amazing at responding to the Prime Ministers Corona Virus restrictions by supporting businesses and offering job retention in a time of great uncertainly and worry.
I would like to thank the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, where the team have been working hard to keep businesses informed of what each Government announcement has meant for SMEs and bigger businesses over the past week – ten days. The Chamber did recognise that the self-employed needed to be in the Government support packages and through the British Chambers of Commerce lobbied for members are so are very pleased with the Chancellor’s latest announcement which is welcomed by Coventry & Warwickshire’s business leaders in supporting the self employed a hugely productive and important section of the economy representing 15.3 % of the workforce.
Personally, I wanted to see a parity of support offering a similar level of protection as to waged workers, clear eligibility, details of practicalities of applying and a timescale. This was delivered as clearly as it could have been in the time allowed.
It’s good news that the Government has moved to support the self-employed but, as with previous announcements, we will be digesting the detail and seeing what emerges over the next couple of days in terms of accessing the support.
I have been trading for 6 years, however despite being eligible, as I focussed my attention in 2018/9 on running a Limited Company so my three year average profits on my tax return was nominal, complicating my grant application. However, for 95% of the self employed this should be a reassuring measure and prevent unnecessary risk taking with their own and others lives with the need to go to work, which is obviously the aim.
The Chancellor testified to the difficulties of establishing this system –meaning that this new support won’t be available until June which, of course, this is far from ideal but we do have to recognise the challenges that are being faced in creating these systems from scratch in a short space of time.
I’m sure there will be more to come in terms of support for Director/Owners of Limited companies so hold tight, in the meantime, there are other forms of support available in the short term for businesses and, as ever, I’d advise anyone needing advice and clarity to speak to their Chamber in order to understand what will work for them best.
For support from the Chamber, contact 024 7665 4321 visit the website at www.cw-chamber.co.uk
Founder & Business Owner – Hello Hospitality
Fellow Institute of Travel & Tourism
Member Institute of Hospitality
Non-Executive Director Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce
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