Coronavirus: further support measures needed for self-employed says MD of Business West

By Ben Fitzgerald - 23 March 2020


The managing director of Business West, Phil Smith, has called for further measures from the UK government to help the self-employed.

Phil Smith said: “The government has taken massive steps to help so many businesses in recent days. Ministers must now also ramp up support for the self-employed, many of whom have seen their livelihoods vanish in the blink of an eye.

“Business West and other Chambers across the UK are hearing from thousands of sole traders, for whom last week’s measures offer little reassurance.

“While we understand the complexity involved, there are five million self-employed people in the UK who need help similar in scale and scope to that put in place for larger firms in recent days.

“As part of British Chambers of Commerce, we are working at a national level to find a way to deliver support to self-employed people – and to ensure that the measures announced for larger businesses make it through quickly to the front line.”

All companies can benefit from the range of information, advice, networking events and international trade support that is available from Business West.

Business West represents more than 21,000 businesses in the South West including our network of Chambers of Commerce members in Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire by:

  • Leading – we provide a powerful voice for business to influence the way our area is shaped

  • Connecting – we empower the local business community to connect, collaborate and profit

  • Growing – we help businesses to start and prosper at home and overseas through tailored advice and support 

At national level, as part of the British Chambers of Commerce the organisation sits at the heart of a powerful network of 52 Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes and within all sectors. Our Global Business Network connects exporters with nearly 40 markets around the world.

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