3 small business petitions you need to know about

The coronavirus crisis leads to almost daily government announcements that impact us all - petitions can be a quick and simple way for people to join together and raise topics that may have been missed.

5 May 2020

Small businesses are taking part in this method to influence the government. Take a look at three petitions we’ve found which are focused on support for business owners across different industries.

What impact can government petitions have?

The government’s petitions service explains how they work:

  • At 10,000 signatures, the government will respond
  • At 100,000 signatures, the Parliament will consider the topic for debate.

Petitions are a peaceful way to gather support, raise issues and influence change

  • Change.org states that a petition is successful every hour, with campaign wins including law changes and the introduction of new regulations or measures.
  • They’re accessible to everyone - anyone can start them, anyone can sign them and they can focus on any topic, however big or small.

Petitions are designed to raise awareness - they won’t necessarily enforce a solution

  • While the government may respond and the parliament may debate them, the outcomes may be different to what the petitioner suggested.

3 petitions to support coronavirus affected small businesses that you could sign today

We’ve highlighted 3 campaigns which are in early stages - i.e yet to reach the number of signatures required for government response. They’re all focused on support for businesses in a specific sector.

1. Support for business owners in the pub industry

PETITION: Cut beer duty for at least 12 months, so pubs can survive after the covid crisis

SIGNATURES: Over 20,000

SUGGESTED ACTION: For the government, which controls the amount of tax on beer, to cut beer duty for a year. This would allow pubs to increase their margins and lower their prices to attract more customers after the lockdown.

WHAT’S NEXT: The government will respond in a matter of days.

2. Support for business owners in the healthcare industry

PETITION: Business Rate Relief to be extended to all small businesses in healthcare

SIGNATURES: Over 8,000

SUGGESTED ACTION: The government introduced a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, as well as nurseries. This appeal asks for this relief to be extended to the healthcare sector to help the likes of dental practices and medical clinics.

WHAT’S NEXT: If it reaches 10,000 the government will respond, and at 100,000 the topic of business rate relief for the healthcare sector will be considered for debate in Parliament.

3. Support for business owners in the creative industry

PETITION: Provide financial support to performers and creators during the COVID-19 crisis

SIGNATURES: Over 4,000

SUGGESTED ACTION: For economic support to be provided for the creative community faced with floods of cancellations to productions, exhibitions and concerts.

WHAT’S NEXT: The government has announced various schemes to help the self employed such as the Universal Credit scheme and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) scheme but is there enough support? This campaign focuses specifically on those affected by lack of income in the film industry.

Which small business petitions are having an impact right now?

Below are some petitions that have a government response or are currently awaiting a debate date in Parliament:

Support for business owners in the childcare industry

PETITION: Make nurseries exempt from business rates to support the childcare sector

SIGNATURES: Over 11,000

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE: When it reached 10,000 signatures, the government wrote a response, beginning with:

“Nurseries in England will pay no business rates this year. In response to COVID-19, on 18 March the Chancellor announced that non-local authority providers of childcare in England will benefit from a business rates holiday for one year from 1 April.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Amongst changes announced on the 18th March, business rate holidays were announced for nurseries. Even though this campaign was not a direct cause of this, it’s an example of a change made by the government around a topic that has been petitioned.

Visit our business rates relief article to read more about this scheme. You can find out more about all the support schemes available for your business using our coronavirus support scheme tool.

Support for business owners in the events industry

PETITION: Government to offer economic assistance to the events industry during COVID-19

SIGNATURES: Over 150,000

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE: When it reached 10,000 signatures, the government responded:

“The government has announced a series of measures to provide economic support to businesses and their staff to help to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. Further detail can be found on gov.uk.”

WHAT’S NEXT: The Parliament is considering the topic for debate.

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Charlotte is a PR specialist at iwoca. She previously worked as a senior account manager, helping our customer access and utilise iwoca funding for their businesses.

Article updated on: 18 June 2020

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