Usually the owners of small limited companies supplying key services communities from repairs to construction and accountancy, they take their income entirely legally from a mix of a salary and dividends. But Express Enterprise and the Crusader section have been contacted by dozens in the past week, all in fear of going under and calling for fairer treatment so they are on a par with other employed and self-employed groups being pledged help to get through the crisis.
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A Change.org petition, supporting their cause for income support and stressing the emergency to Government, is now gathering momentum.
One home-based computer repair firm, run by a husband and wife, said: “Keeping people connected is vital, but we cannot visit clients and have lost a lot of business. We have put our all into our business, we aren’t fat cats.”
Another in the marine sector added: “If I have to shut down it will hit my suppliers and end any chance of furloughing my staff.”
The petition calling for chancellor Rishi Sunak to bring them into the fold now has over 260,000 signatures.
I’ve heard from thousands who are falling through the gaps in government support. They cannot be failed
Started by accountancy and payroll business owner Amanda Evans, she told Crusader: “My work and that of my clients is drying up, some have already had to close.
“I’ve heard from thousands who are falling through the gaps in government support. They cannot be failed.
“I’m not normally a campaigner, but so many of us are affected I could not stand by and watch the devastating consequences. This is a staggering oversight.”
Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, commented: “FSB had pushed the government hard for its self-employed scheme to help as many as possible, and to start as soon as possible. We hope that ministers understand the many real-life examples of those left behind that we’re highlighting.
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak (Image: JULIAN SIMMONDS/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire/PA Images)
“It is also vital that the many other schemes already announced are rolled out as quickly and effectively as possible, and we are very willing to help the government in any way we can with that at this time of national emergency.”
Federation of Master Builders chief executive Brian Berry confirmed: “We are joining the call with other industry bodies for the Chancellor to reconsider his decision not to cover dividend payments in his income support packages. This could be the lifeline that keeps many small businesses, employing thousands of people, afloat.”