As government support schemes for businesses wind down, the survival of many firms still hangs in the balance over the summer, a leading business group has warned.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said most firms affected by the coronavirus crisis cannot wait until autumn for more help.
Job retention schemes have been a lifeline for many businesses but despite the gradual reopening of the economy, recession is a certainty and unemployment is rising, it said.
Further action was needed to ensure firms survive, including extensions of grant support schemes for smaller companies and business rates relief in England, the CBI added.
It also recommended that the deadline for the Coronavirus Business Loan Scheme should also be extended for a further three months beyond August.
CBI director-general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said: “The government’s support of business during the crisis has saved countless firms, but the rising number of redundancies and benefit claimants shows just how hugely damaging this pandemic has been for our economy.
“The survival of many businesses in hard-hit sectors still hangs in the balance over the summer as schemes begin to wind down. These firms cannot wait until the autumn for further action.
“The government has already shown its ability to be bold and decisive. By getting ahead of this tidal wave of economic damage at scale, at speed, targeted support, it can help businesses survive.”
Additional reporting by Press Association