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Budget 2021 Commentary: Retail

Path out of Lockdown will be long

Daniel Burke, Partner

“While there is light at the end of the tunnel in terms of reopening for non-essential retail, the path out of lockdown will be long, as it will take time for consumers to hit the high streets in the same way as they did before the pandemic.

“It is great news that the Chancellor has extended the furlough scheme until the end of September, so that businesses can grow their way out of recession. This will protect jobs and provide businesses with much needed cashflow support.”

Grant for bricks and mortar retail

Mark Hart, Partner

“The Chancellor’s announcement of the reopening grant for bricks and mortar retail is welcome but there is a danger that this will largely be offset by the tapering of business rates from September onwards. Although retail businesses will receive an allowance of up to two-thirds of the cost this could still leave many businesses short of cash to grow their way out of the pandemic as working capital will still be needed to invest in stock, meet rent and invest in the future.”

Great news that the Chancellor has extended the furlough scheme until the end of September, so that businesses can grow their way out of recession.

Seasonal businesses will not be able to sustain full time employment

Andrew Sanford, Partner

“Seasonal businesses who are unable to have a normal summer period will not be able to sustain full time employment once furlough ends in September. These businesses may have to make some very difficult decisions, especially with additional contributions due in July to September.

“£5bn of grants available for retail, hospitality and leisure, but no equivalent support for those companies who supply these businesses.”

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