Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

for Streatham (and parts of Balham, Clapham Common, Tulse Hill and Brixton Hill)

Press Release – Bell calls on the Government to back local businesses to survive the winter

Dec 4, 2020 | Press Releases

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Small Business Streatham
Bell on a recent visit to Good Empire, who laser-cut PPE for local care homes.

Bell has called on the Government to back small businesses this winter as new analysis ahead of small business Saturday reveals almost 650 small businesses in Streatham might not make it to Spring.

Ahead of Small Business Saturday, the Labour Party has revealed that many of the small businees reopening this week may not make it to Spring because of government failures to contain the virus and shrinking government support.

New analysis of official data reveals an estimated 650 of small businesses in Streatham are worried they won’t survive the next three months. Almost 862 small businesses are likely to have seen turnover plummet by more than half – even before the imposition of a second national lockdown.

Labour has also revealed that 1,682 small businesses in Streatham are unlikely to have more than three months of cash reserves. Yet the vast majority of businesses required to close have received much smaller grants from government than they did during the first lockdown – with most receiving either just a third or half of what they received in March.

The news comes as London’s Public Health Chief warned that London may enter Tier 3 in the coming review.5 This week, Bell voted against the new tier system on the basis that the measures were ineffective at combatting the spread of the virus, inadequate in their limited financial support, and inconsistent overall.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour Member of Parliament for Streatham, said: 

“These figures confirm what small business owners in Streatham have been telling us for months: the Government isn’t giving businesses in our area the support they need to make it through a difficult winter.

“Small businesses have backed us over the course of the pandemic with independent cafes giving out free coffee for NHS workers, computer repair specialists offering to repair laptops at no cost and one local firm laser-cutting PPE for care homes.

“Now the Government must back them. Many small businesses in our area won’t survive the winter unless the Government brings forwards additional funding.”

Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband said: 

“Small businesses are the beating heart of towns and cities across the country – shops, pubs, manufacturers, salons, suppliers and all those that make up the vibrant fabric of our communities.

“But they’re facing a cash crisis and being let down by shrinking government grants which simply won’t cover their rents and overheads. Unless Ministers change course, we’ll see hardworking businesses go bust and high streets crumbling before winter is through.”

ENDS

Notes:

1. All data based on responses from latest ONS Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey (19 October – 01 November). This  shows:  

  • 15% of very small businesses and 9% of small businesses have low or no confidence of surviving the next three months. If this proportion is replicated in the Streatham constituency, this would represent almost 800 small businesses.   
  • 20% of very small businesses and 16% of small businesses saw turnover plunge by more than 50% over a fortnight survey period, before the second national lockdown was imposed. This would represent almost 862 small businesses.  
  • 10% of very small businesses and 6% of small businesses had no cash reserves, and a further 28% of very small businesses and 32% of small businesses had cash reserves to last them for under 1 month to 3 months. This would represent more than 1682 small businesses. 

2. Evening Standard, ‘London ‘at risk of Tier 3’ restrictions as drop in Covid cases stalls’ (04 Dec 2020) 

For further information about this press release, please contact Ollie Collard, Communications Officer, Office of Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP at oliver.collard@parliament.uk.