The impact of the coronavirus pandemic put a number of small businesses in difficult situations, with many being forced to make their staff redundant. 75% say that the virus is still having a negative effect on their confidence levels.

According to the FSB, small businesses within the wholesale, retail and arts & entertainment sectors are the least confident while construction and accommodation and food service sectors are the most positive.

Despite the Government’s emergency support and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), many small businesses have not seen the benefits of the financial aid, FSB finds.

For help on how and where to apply for the BBLS, read our guide.

We urgently need to see the Treasury outline how it intends to support those who have been left out, not least company directors and the newly self-employed. Additional help for those who are being forced to stay closed while others re-open is also a must,” Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman said.

“We have to avoid a scenario where those who’ve received support are able to navigate choppy economic waters over the months ahead while others are left to sink.”    

There has been a surge in the number of finance applications, with 34% of those surveyed seeking new facilities in the last three months. 

Despite this, Cherry demands that the government does what it can to keep the current interventions in constant review to make sure that they are sufficiently helping small businesses.

“They should also be conscious that tax increases for small businesses and the self-employed would risk stifling any nascent recovery,” he added.

“The BBLS has been a clear success, facilitating more than one million loans to small firms in need. Those businesses now need reassurances about the future as they look to realise their full potential,” Cherry said.