BUSINESSES should receive “Brexit vouchers” as part of an emergency budget to help them cope with a potential no-deal exit from the EU, the Treasury has been told.

The Federation of Small Businesses urged Chancellor Sajid Javid to produce an emergency budget to support businesses after Brexit.

FSB policy and advocacy chairman Martin McTague said the UK needs to “get serious” about preparing the economy.

The FSB is calling for an emergency budget including a “blanket cut” to employer national insurance contributions. They say a reduction from 13.8% to 12% would help small employers manage a surge in staffing costs.

The group also recommends an uprating of the £3000 employment allowance following a decision to target the relief at the small firms that need it most. Other recommendations include reducing the 17.5% VAT rate.

For small businesses that could be affected by the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, such as those that trade exclusively with one European market, the FSB is calling for “Brexit vouchers” worth up to £3000 to assist with planning for the future, accessing new markets, retraining staff and retooling.

McTague said: “With the UK set to leave the EU on October 31, we need an emergency budget before Brexit happens. It’s time for this Government to get serious about planning and preparing the economy.

“Advertising campaigns and small-scale measures focused on a few exporters won’t cut it. Cash is king for small firms, so we urgently need measures that will allow them to shore up balance sheets, keep hiring and help them prepare for an uncertain future.

“We’ve been dogged by disappointing economic growth for years now. That’s why we

need interventions on the domestic front.

“Making business rates fairer, supporting those struggling with employment costs and investing in infrastructure would give many small firms a new lease of life.

“The Government would do well to remember that the economy only thrives when small businesses do.”