Support for Small Business Owners from Starki's Principal Director
Starki’s Principal Director, Wez Morgan, was interviewed by the Sunday Times in an article which emphasised the need for transparency and fairness toward small business owners during the Coronavirus pandemic. While many businesses have taken on massive debts to stay afloat, larger firms have stated they don’t require the grants they’ve been awarded by the government. This would suggest that government funding hasn’t been awarded where it’s most needed, and by allowing many smaller businesses to slip between the cracks the country could see tough times ahead.
Up to 7.5 million people are employed by limited companies. With the furlough scheme now tapering down, cash is so tight that many bosses say they will struggle to pay the top-up amount needed to keep staff on the government programme. Many will also struggle to pay redundancy costs, meaning mass insolvencies may be looming.
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said 57% of its members operated as directors of limited companies. Putting their future in peril is at odds with Boris Johnson’s “build, build, build” strategy to boost the recovery.
“These people aren’t fat cats, they are running fledgling businesses and are just trying to get them off the ground,” said Brian Berry, the FMB’s chief executive.
One of them is Wez Morgan, who set up an architectural practice, Starki, in Swansea last year. On the advice of his accountant, Morgan, 34, structured it as a limited company. He has received no support since the pandemic hit.
“The issues we are facing are everybody’s problem,” he said. “If there is no support, there are going to be jobs lost in the community. If my business folded, it would leave a lot of people in the lurch.”
Craig Beaumont, external affairs chief at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “As the government’s schemes end, directors and others excluded from support are trying to survive any way they can. We want to see a rescue package aimed at this group so they can contribute to the economic recovery.”
Some concede that the chances of receiving full state support are now slim. “We work hand-to-mouth each month and take dividends when we can,” said Golding, who is involved with the ExcludedUK campaign. “We want the parity we deserve, but at this point anything we can get will be better than nothing.”