William Eichler 16 July 2021

Small businesses took on five times more debt during pandemic

Small businesses took on five times more debt during pandemic   image

Independent businesses offer placemakers an opportunity to create a unique experience but need the support of central and local government, report says.

A report by Bill Grimsey, the former boss of supermarket chain Iceland and the DIY firm Wickes, has warned that thousands of independent high street businesses are at risk of collapse because of debt incurred during the pandemic.

It shows that independent businesses will emerge from the pandemic with almost five times more debt than they had before.

Mr Grimsey found that these smaller businesses felt ‘unsupported and unappreciated’ during the pandemic as they had to stop trading entirely while their larger competitors have been able to trade.

He also discovered that many independent businesses have lost trust in their local authority.

‘During the course of our discussions, we also saw how many felt targeted and discriminated against by their local authority and subsequently had very low trust in local democracy,’ he wrote in the foreword to the report.

‘We heard incredibly personal stories of how business partners were affected by the trauma and enormous stress of struggling to stay afloat during lockdown. In some cases the impact was so much that people drew up suicide pacts in the event of business failure.’

Despite unprecedented financial challenges, independent businesses have prioritized supporting local communities and maintaining the social fabric, according to Mr Grimsey, and should have a loud voice in central and local government.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Early Interventions

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Social Worker - Early Interventions Permanent, Full Time £32,065 - £43,839 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Local Linked Support Team

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
This is a full time fixed term contract for 12 month or a 12 month Secondment.About the RoleThis is a community-based role within the Harlow area. You England, Essex, Epping
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Property and Projects Lawyer

Brent Council
£43,860 - £49,827 p.a. inc.(pro rata)
The successful candidate will have the opportunity to supervise junior staff and deputise in the absence of the Senior Property Lawyer. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Business Support Officer

Camden London Borough Council
We have recently changed the way that we work so that we are more responsive to... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Accountancy and Business Change Manager

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£49.827 - £52.866
An opportunity has arisen within our Accountancy Business Partnership Service for an Accountancy Business Change Manager. Reporting Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue