The coronavirus lockdowns implemented by the British government will force at least a quarter of a million small businesses to shut down for good if they are not bailed out by the taxpayer, business leaders have predicted.
Over the next year, at least 250,000 are expected to go under, according to a survey conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The number of firms saying that they are on the brink of collapse is the highest since the beginning of the economic crisis caused by the Chinese coronavirus and the ensuing draconian restrictions foisted upon the public.
The figures do not represent the number of businesses which are hoping to avoid collapse by freezing their operations, laying off staff, or taking on significant debt in order to stay afloat.
Of those surveyed, 23 per cent of small businesses have reduced the number of employees in the last quarter, alone,