Businesses are calling for more Government support to stop increasing costs and further alleviate the business rates burden, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The FSB proposed lowering the costs of employer National Insurance contributions to help small businesses create jobs at a time when many firms are laying staff off.

The organisation polled 1,564 firms and found 25% of small firms reduced headcounts last quarter, while 29% expect to make redundancies over the next three months.

More than one in ten (12%) respondents expect at least a quarter of their staff to go.

Mike Cherry, chairman at the FSB, said:

“If we want them to invest, innovate and expand, we have to alleviate the strain of wider government-imposed overheads, including those stemming from an outdated business rates system which continues to stifle too many community businesses all over the country.”

Most businesses in England currently benefit from a 12-month business rates discount, and the Government could extend this in 2021/22 due to the pandemic.

A comprehensive review into potential reform of the controversial bricks-and-mortar tax is due to be published before Spring Budget 2021.

Cherry added:

“Now that support measures are continuing through to the spring, we should also avoid a scenario where businesses suddenly go from going from paying 0% to 100% of their business rates bills in April [2021].”

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