Ahead of Small Business Saturday, the Labour party has revealed that many of the small businesses reopening this week may not make it to Spring because of government failure to get a grip on the virus and shrinking government support. New analysis of official data reveals an estimated 470 of small businesses in Newcastle Central are worried they won’t survive the next three months. Almost 639 small businesses have seen turnover plummet by more than half – even before the second national lockdown was imposed.

Chi Onwurah has regularly raised the issue of small business support in Parliament with the Prime Minister and others and will be spending Small Business Saturday visiting businesses in Newcastle Central.

Chi Onwurah MP for Newcastle Central said:

“Newcastle is famous the world over for our hospitality and warm welcome, with small businesses at the very heart of this. Small businesses have stepped up to help our local communities in this crisis offering food, helping school children, manufacturing life saving PPE, and offering covid safe shopping and eating.

“The government has failed in helping these businesses and needs to act now to stop these businesses going under in January. Many business owners have come to me to tell me they can’t go on much longer and December rent demands may be the final straw.

“Small businesses make Newcastle as great as it is, and we cannot let them down.”

Labour has also revealed that 1,268 small businesses in Newcastle Central do not have cash reserves to last beyond three months. Yet the vast majority of businesses required to close have received much smaller grants from government than they did during the first lockdown – with most receiving either just a third or half of what they received in March.

Small businesses are at the heart of our community, being one of the many things that make Newcastle great. Businesses have stepped up during this COVID19 crisis, helping local communities when they needed it most. Places like Grainger Market who adapted their businesses to help support locals through mail order services. As well as all the great small businesses who provided free school meals when the government refused to. We cannot let them down now.

The analysis of the ONS ‘Business Impact of Coronavirus’ survey shows:

Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband said:

“Small businesses are the beating heart of towns and cities across the country – shops, pubs, manufacturers, salons, suppliers and all those that make up the vibrant fabric of our communities.

“Small businesses have stepped up during this crisis, whether helping to manufacture PPE and ventilators, offering free meals for children during half term, or changing how they work to keep people safe.

“But they’re facing a cash crisis and being let down by shrinking government grants which simply won’t cover their rents and overheads. Unless Ministers change course we’ll see hardworking businesses go bust and high streets crumbling before winter is through.”


Notes to Editors

Chi Onwurah recent social media on Small Businesses in Newcastle Central including questions to the Prime Minister




Photos will be available on Saturday by emailing: chi.onwurah.mp@parliament.uk


Chi Onwurah Question to Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Small Business and Covid:



Number of micro/small businesses in Newcastle Central from ONS Business Counts

Total 3,325
Micro (0 to 9) 2,860
Small (10 to 49) 465


Survey responses from latest ONS Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey (19 October – 1 November)

Business confidence of surviving next three months:

Workforce Size Low confidence No confidence Number of businesses when replicated for Newcastle Central
0 – 9 11.8% 3.1% Number of micro businesses X 0.149 = 426
10 – 49 8.1% 1.3% Number of small businesses X 0.094 = 44
Total = 470



Size Band Turnover has decreased by more than 50% Number of businesses with turnover decreasing by more than 50% when replicated for Newcastle Central
0 – 9 19.7% Number of micro businesses X 0.197 = 563
10 – 49 16.4% Number of small businesses X 0.164 = 76
Total = 639


Cash reserves:

Size Band (number of employees) No cash reserves Less than 1 month 1 to 3 months Number of businesses when replicated for Newcastle Central
0 – 9 10.2% 5.4% 22.6% Number of micro businesses X 0.382 = 1,093
10 – 49 5.7% 5.5% 26.5% Number of small businesses X 0.377 = 175
Total = 1,268





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