Throughout Putney, Roehampton and Southfields there have been businesses who have missed out on financial support or who need additional financial support to make it through the next few months.

They need the business rates holiday to be extended, and the 5% VAT rate to be extended or applied to many businesses that were missed out and the terms of the bounce back loans changed so that they only need to be repaid when businesses are back on their feet and growing.

The Chancellor’s economically illiterate plans to demand Covid loan repayments next month risk crushing British business and our recovery under a mountain of debt.

If we don’t take action, 850,000 businesses could be at risk of going bust in the next three months. That will put almost two and half million jobs at risk.

The Chancellor’s plan would also leave other firms cash-strapped for years, leading to less investment and fewer jobs. That means our economy won’t grow.

A café owner in Putney has told me that if the business rates holiday is not extended he will have to close on April 1st.

10 days ago I met with local hairdressers whose are very concerned about their future. They missed out of receiving most business support but their high costs have carried on whilst they have had to be closed.

Meanwhile, a dry cleaners in my constituency wrote to me saying they are on the verge of collapse. Because of being designated an essential service they have had to stay open, despite losing nearly all of their custom due to the pandemic.

In the last few days I have met with companies in the events supply chain who didn’t get grant support because they didn’t have to close – but the events they support did have to close and so they had no income. Companies like Pollencrew who provide flowers for events and are having to sell off their vehicles to save the company.

With financial support now they are ready to employ 50 people when events start again. The events supply chain businesses employ 700,000 people across the UK and should be recognised as a sector and receive the support they need.

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