◆ Charlotte Gatward of Gatwards says: “The changes to the furlough scheme will be welcome in the sectors that are hardest hit. Also, the extension to the loan schemes, ‘pay as you grow’ and deferred tax are all excellent as cash flow is the big problem for many small businesses while consumer confidence is low and there is huge uncertainty for the months ahead. However, these changes have come too late. We may benefit from the new job retention scheme as we have two team members still on furlough, but I’ve already had to let one go.
The spreading payments of tax and loan repayments are helpful, with any boost to cash flow very welcome at this time.
“We hope and pray we won’t have to close again; we are doing everything we can to boost our online presence so we can weather the storm.
“November and December are normally our busiest trading months – we just do not know how things will pan out this year – if customers are fearful, they won’t come to the high street.”