Amid the coronavirus and post-Brexit trade fallout, more than one
quarter of a million small British businesses are bound to face bankruptcy this
year, a study showed on Monday, AFP reported.

“A record number of small business owners are planning to close
their firms over the coming twelve months, putting the UK on course to lose
more than a quarter of a million businesses,” the Federation of Small
Businesses (FSB) estimated after last month quizzing 1,401 firms on their

The FSB said that Britain’s financial support measures in response to
COVID-19 did not ‘keep pace’ with tightening lockdown restrictions.

Britain’s exit from the European Union also had an impact on small businesses
as the study added that exporters were ‘feeling the strain as (the) new EU-UK
trade deal beds in.’

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry urged the adoption of ‘transition
vouchers’ to help firms cope with uncertainty surrounding the Brexit trade deal
that came into force on January 1, 2021.

“Our exporters are trying to get across what a new EU-UK trade
agreement means for them without the cash they need to make adjustments,”
Cherry said.

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“Direct funding to help them manage new obligations in the form of
transition vouchers is urgently needed,” he said.

“This government can stem losses and protect the businesses of the
future — but only if it acts now,” he added.

He also directed the UK government to focus on measures and emergency
debt facilities that could help small businesses to survive.