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Twenty-three per cent of small businesses say the return to school could affect their ability to reopen safely, according to a new survey.
Nearly a quarter of small firms in England believe that the reopening of schools and nurseries, as well as the availability of childminders and nannies, will have an impact on their ability to reopen safely, according to a new survey.
The survey by the Federation of Small Businesses says the safe return of pupils to schools is critical to small firms, not just because many people who work in them have children, but because several firms rely directly on footfall linked to schools.
The FSB also highlighted the plight of nurseries. FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “The Government must do more to protect the futures of our vital childcare providers. Ensuring that funding for the 30-hour free pledge is genuinely adequate and making permanent the current business rates exemption for nurseries – a step already taken in Scotland – would be good places to start.”
The Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates that once the schools reopen it is likely that as many as 5% more employees will be able to return to their workplaces. It says that it is likely the return to work/increased hours associated with school reopening could increase GDP by 3.3% or roughly £70 billion a year. Even if this is corrected for the effects of home schooling on measured GDP, it says the actual rise will still be 2.3%.