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Next week, the UK government begins gradually winding down the furlough scheme, which has partly covered the wages of more than 9m workers.
From August 1, employers will need to start contributing to the cost of furloughing staff, adding to the burden of struggling businesses and leading to fears that redundancies will rise.
In recent weeks, there has been a savage round of job cuts from household names including Marks and Spencer, Dyson, Boots and John Lewis. A survey this week revealed almost a quarter of smaller UK companies say they have made redundancies in the past three months.
Businesses of all sizes are grappling to control costs as the level of support recedes. But will the chancellor’s summer statement measures boost the economy enough?
In this week’s Business Clinic, presenter Claer Barrett will be joined by Craig Beaumont, chief of external affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), to discuss the future for the UK’s 5.8m small companies — and they want to hear from you.
As the furlough scheme winds down, are you ready to bring employees back, or will you have to make cuts? How much of a recovery in demand has your business seen, and how confident are you that this momentum will continue?
The summer statement promised to pay a £1,000 bonus for furloughed staff who are kept on until February, as well as incentives to take on trainees and younger staff. But what sort of further help for small businesses and the self-employed would you like to see the chancellor announce at the autumn Budget?
Claer Barrett, the FT’s personal finance editor, and Craig Beaumont, of the Federation of Small Businesses, are now offline.
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