Caroline Lucas MP is calling on the Chancellor to give urgently needed support to small businesses in Brighton which are facing huge disruption and losses because of the coronavirus.
Brighton and Hove is particularly vulnerable because of the importance of the hospitality industry to the local economy. The city’s language schools are also suffering, with a drop in enrolments of as much as 80 percent.
Caroline Lucas says the Chancellor must come up with emergency measures in his Budget on Wednesday to ensure these businesses survive the coronavirus outbreak.
She is asking that small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are granted a six-month moratorium on business rates, with the Government ensuring that local authorities do not lose out from the loss of revenue.
She is also calling for SMEs in trouble to be eligible for interest-free loans to help tide them over.
“Small businesses are the heart and soul of Brighton’s economy. They cannot be allowed to go under because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We are facing a national crisis which demands emergency measures. I hope the Chancellor recognises how important SMEs are to our economy and gives them the necessary support when they will most need it.”