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UKFT campaigns for "forgotten middle” businesses during Coronavirus

Tom Shearsmith
03 April 2020

According to the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT), more support is needed to help fashion businesses that fall outside eligibility for the Government’s announced COVID-19 protection schemes.

Through speaking with companies and individuals in the UK fashion and textile industry over the past few weeks, UKFT have identified a number of issues which they claim must be addressed urgently by the Government.

Referring to these companies as “the forgotten middle”, they include owners and founders of small limited companies who derive their income from a limited company but not through PAYE, the self-employed who have not shown any profits and those whose employment began after 28 February 2020.

UKFT is raising this issue with the government on a daily basis as are the CBI, raising many other issues including:

  • Difficulty of accessing coronavirus business support loans.
  • The need for a rates holiday for all businesses.
  • The huge difficulty caused by retailers and brands cancelling orders.
  • The limitations of the Small Business Grant scheme.
  • The need to make the finance from the support schemes available much more quickly.
  • The need for the government to significantly increase the support available to the industry when the immediate crises has passed.

In a statement, UKFT said: "We very much want to hear how the Covid-19 situation is affecting you, your team and your business. We will take all of your issues and concerns to Government.

"The UKFT team are available to offer support and advice and to help you plan for the time when the current situation passes. We are also looking at how we continue to offer help and advice via webinars and other online channels.

"Some members have already contacted us to see how they can switch production to help the national interest. If you are able to help please do let us know as we are co-ordinating these responses to the Government."

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