The UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) has announced its continued campaign for the ‘forgotten middle’ in the fashion and textile industry.

The UKFT said it’s been urging the UK government to provide support for individuals and companies that are not eligible for any of the existing coronavirus-related business protection schemes.

“We are referring to these companies as the ‘forgotten middle’, and they include: the owners and/or founders of small limited companies who derive their income from a limited company, but not through PAYE; the self-employed who have not shown any profits; and those who were employed after 28 February.

“The UKFT is raising this issue with the government on a daily basis, as are the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), and we know that the government have heard our message.

“We have been speaking with companies and individuals throughout the UK fashion and textile industry over the past few weeks and have also identified a number of issues, which must be addressed urgently.”

The UKFT explained that these issues include the difficulty that some companies have had in accessing coronavirus business support loans, as well as the need to make finance from the support schemes available much quicker.

The association said it would also like to government to address the difficulties caused by retailers and brands cancelling orders, as well as the limitations of the Small Business Grant scheme and the need for a rates holiday for all businesses.

There is also a need for the government to significantly increase the support available to the industry when the immediate crisis has passed, explained the UKFT.

“If you have experienced any of the problems mentioned above or any other issues it would be extremely helpful for UKFT to hear about your experience and for us to be able to share these with the government.”