BPIF calls on government to extend business support

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, March 20, 2020

The BPIF has urgently called for further direct support for the printing industry during the coronavirus crisis.

Jarrold: "This needs urgent and immediate action"
Jarrold: "This needs urgent and immediate action"

The federation said it has seen “unprecedented pressures on its members”, the vast majority of which are SMEs.

Central to its lobbying efforts are a number of measures that it has been asking the government to implement.

The organisation wants to see extended business rates relief beyond the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, in order to match the economic impact being felt more widely across UK business.

It has also called for a widening of the 'key worker' category to include skilled workers in key supply chains in the print and packaging sector, and has asked for the deferment of VAT, PAYE and NIC payments, direct support for companies and individuals to reduce and avoid the impact of layoffs, and six months' delay to the implementation of the increase in the National Minimum Wage.

Additionally, the BPIF is calling for specific and immediate support and guidance for manufacturers, to lend confidence that employees can be retained and paid during the business downturn.

For companies having to consider layoffs, the BPIF said measures to help affected staff must be backed by government. In addition, it said that asking businesses to borrow, with an opaque and lengthy process likely to include personal guarantees, is not sufficient.

BPIF chief executive Charles Jarrold said: “The impact of Covid-19 is equivalent to a natural disaster. Targeted and intense government support to those businesses and individuals in need will minimise the biggest harms and enable our industry, and the economy, to recover more quickly once we are through the worst.

“This needs urgent and immediate action, we know government are listening carefully to UK industry and we hope the announcements later today will reflect our feedback.”

The BPIF has produced an analysis of Tuesday's government announcement and further detailed support for members is available on its website. It will also send a Business Impact Survey to all of its members on Monday (23 March).

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