In a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has outlined a series of recommendations designed to support small businesses once the COVID-19 lockdown ends.
The Chancellor is expected to deliver an economic statement early next month.
The FSB stated that the majority of businesses will face 'significant costs' when they reopen. 86% of businesses polled by the FSB said they'll need to make changes to their premises to allow for social distancing measures. 60% said it will cost up to £1,000 to reopen in line with government guidance, whilst 28% believe it will cost more than £1,000.
Additionally, in order to protect livelihoods as the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) comes to an end, the FSB recommends that the Chancellor consider reducing employers' national insurance contributions (NICs) or uprating the Employment Allowance.
The business group has also called for a full statutory sick pay (SSP) rebate for those who need to self-isolate over the coming weeks.
Commenting on the letter, Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: 'The fundamental question facing small businesses today is: can I open in a way that's both commercially viable and safe?
'Among those for whom the answer is yes, the majority will face additional costs as they adjust their operations. The government should step in with back to work vouchers so firms doing the right thing can recover this expenditure.'
The FSB's list of recommendations can be found here.