Responding to new details about the future operation of the job retention scheme (JRS) and self-employment income support scheme (SEISS), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Scotland Policy Chair, Andrew McRae said:
“This announcement gives Scottish small business owners and the self-employed additional certainty for the next few months.
“We’ve long argued that by extending the job retention scheme while making it more flexible we can help to get the economy back on its feet. Keeping the current level of government support largely unchanged until August gives firms much-needed breathing space while lockdown is eased. Opening up the part-furlough option a month earlier than planned will help small employers sustainably rebuild their business as restrictions are lifted and trade returns.
“There may be certain sectors for whom a return to any sort of revenue generation remains some way off – such as those in and reliant upon Scotland’s visitor economy, for example. Depending on how things progress over the summer, we might need to look at longer-term support for those particular parts of the economy.
“Scotland’s self-employed community will be relieved to know that the income cliff-edge they were facing in two days’ time has now been removed. While more self-employed people will be able to return to work in the weeks and months ahead, others from barbers to tour guides, look like they face a longer wait. This support is a lifeline to them.
“There are, of course, still those, including limited company directors, who are excluded from the self-employment income support scheme. We have this week written to the UK Small Business Minister with a range of new policy proposals aimed at helping this group.”