A further lifeline for UK workers

Date29 November 2020
Published date29 November 2020
Publication titleSunday Sun
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a new raft of support for workers and businesses following the announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson of new restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Protecting jobs is a top priority, with the Coronavirus CORONAVIRUS

Job Retention Scheme extended until March and a third grant for the selfemployed upped to 80 per cent of trading profits.

LIFESAVER The measures have been a lifesaver for small businesses. Jennifer Bailey, 42, CEO of Calla Shoes, has used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to retain her valued staff members. She also took a Bounce Back Loan to help with cashflow.

"This is ideal for me," says Jennifer, from Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire. "The cost of hiring and retraining staff can be considerable for small businesses, so this works really well.

"January and February are a quieter period for retailers in normal times, but with COVID it could be slower than usual, so the extension of the scheme means peace of mind for me and my team knowing we can survive this period of uncertainty."

Before the pandemic, Calla Shoes was growing, but because Jennifer specialises in smart shoes for work or special occasions such as weddings and parties, it was hit hard. "Last year I only had one member of staff and now I've got three," she says. "It's not just about skillset for me; it's about loving the brand and loving what we do. The staff that I've found absolutely encompass all the values I want. We're in touch absolutely regularly and what they're worried about is not having a job guarantee at the end of it all. But if I can keep them on like this, it helps to reassure them that they won't be out of a job. I need them."


Now, with the extension of the furlough scheme, Jennifer was able to furlough all three staff, and knowing that their jobs are safe gives her peace of mind.

"My business is my baby and these are the first staff I'd taken on, so I would have hated to tell them they'd lost their jobs," she says.

When it comes to the Bounce Back Loan, Jennifer welcomes the new flexibility around paying it back: "I've got longer to make the repayments, which really helps for the cashflow of the business. I haven't had to go into it yet, but I might next year so it's good to know that cushion is there. The repayments are going to be lower and spread out for longer."


Thanks to the UK Government's package of financial

SUPPORT PACKAGE Government's support, Jennifer is looking forward to a...

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