The Government raising taxes to rebalance the books poses the biggest threat to the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey of 1008 small business owners by free PR platform, Newspage.

39% of respondents, from a wide range of sectors and located around the UK, believe the need to start paying off the debts accrued over the past 18 months represents the biggest danger to the country’s economic recovery.

For 35% of respondents, the end of furlough and rising unemployment is the biggest threat, while just over a quarter of those polled (26%) said interest rate rises caused by rising inflation will be the primary challenge for UK Plc.

Meanwhile, a clear majority of small business respondents (59%) believe that the end of the Government’s support scheme will have a ‘negative’ impact on the UK economy, with 6% believing it will have a ‘devastating’ impact.

18% of those polled believe the end of the furlough scheme will have ‘no impact at all’ on the economy, while 17% believe it could have a ‘positive’ impact.

Select views from the Newspage community:

Gillian Jones-Williams, Managing Director at Fareham-based Emerge Development Consultancy:

“At some point in the not-too-distant future, Rishi Sunak will stop being the ‘good news fairy’ and the reality of burgeoning tax bills will start to hit home. For small companies who have spent the past year and a half clinging on to save their businesses, this could be the final nail in the coffin.”

Debbie Porter, Managing Director of Bakewell-based Destination Digital Marketing:

“Medically, we are well along the pandemic curve, but in economic terms, we are only at the beginning. Rishi Sunak has warned on several occasions that tax rises will be needed to pay back the huge debts we’ve incurred during COVID-19, and the only question is when the great payback begins.”

Amit Shah, Co-founder of Milton Keynes-based educational learning product provider, Teddö Play:

“Though we might be through the worst of the pandemic, the economic after-effects are only just beginning. The immediate risks to our economy are a rise in inflation, rising interest rates as a result, and the end of the furlough scheme, which could see unemployment soar and speed up bankruptcies across large and small companies alike.”

Lee Marples, Co-founder of Derby-based creative agency, Think3:

“Furlough has masked the country’s true economic state. What happens when that support ends? Almost certainly, rising unemployment, a fall in consumer spending and recession, potentially a devastating one.”

Lewis Shaw, Founder of Mansfield-based Shaw Financial Services:

“We are nowhere near the worst of the economic turbulence to come as a result of the pandemic, a turbulence, let’s not forget, turbocharged by Brexit. We’re about to find out how much nous the Government has really got.”

Bev Wakefield, Director at Derby-based Vibrant Accountancy:

“Businesses go bust on the way out of a recession, not on the way in. I’m predicting difficult times for many companies during the next 12 months, with interest rates rising and inflation potentially wreaking havoc. Businesses in some industries and sectors will continue to thrive, but for many the furlough scheme has merely delayed the inevitable.”

Rob Gill, Founder of London-based Altura Mortgage Finance:

“There’s every chance the economy will bounce back strongly as the pandemic comes to an end. Many households have saved significantly over the past year or so, and there’s a lot of pent-up demand for holidays, meals out, entertainment and downright fun. There is a very real prospect of a 21st Century ‘Roaring 20s’.”

Peter Francis, Engineering Director at Worcester-based MAT Ltd:

“While the furlough scheme has supported many businesses, it has also demoralised many people and they want to feel productive and valued again. One positive is that small businesses can quickly adjust their vision and goals, so now is the time for them to take some brave steps.”

— ENDS —

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact:

Dominic Hiatt, Founder, Newspage: 07595 221604 |

Newspage polled its user base between 28 and 29 June 2021.

About Newspage

Newspage gives small businesses and charities the ability to be featured in the local, national and trade media for FREE, while also acting as a fully branded ‘media centre’ where they can be found by journalists in need of expert comment. Simply create your own Newspage in a  matter of minutes and then be alerted to relevant stories you could contribute to as they break. #BeTheStory