THE chancellor has been warned not to forget about thousands of jobs in the supply chain after he announced billions more pounds to help retailers and hospitality.

Southampton-born Rishi Sunak yesterday announced a £4.6billion programme of grants to keep high street businesses alive.

But Hampshire Chamber has said the one-off grants of £9,000 would not save other businesses serving the sector.

Ross McNally, Hampshire Chamber’s chief executive and executive chairman, said: “We have continually called on the government to build more flexibility into its business support measures.

“While this immediate package is a welcome step given the new lockdown, it needs to be part of a continuing long-term plan and not just a short-term means to plug gaps in cashflow.

“And although it’s true that our retail, hospitality and leisure industries are witnessing devastating impacts from this crisis, ministers should not forget about the thousands of jobs in supply chain companies and a variety of impacted sectors in our wider business communities which also need long-term support.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak offers £4.6bn lifeline for high streets

The announcement of a second national lockdown left hospitality businesses and retailers looking at months more of closure.

Caroline French, managing director of the Southampton shoe shop WJ French and Son, said its January sale had been due to start today.

“We have worked really hard at developing an online presence over the last 10 years, so it’s has been massively beneficial to us as sales have continued to increase over lockdown,” she said.

“This is still nowhere near our normal turnover, however.

“As long as we have the help of the government’s furlough scheme and keep our outgoing costs to a minimum, then I remain confident we will keep our head above water. We were acutely aware that another lockdown was likely, so amended our stock requirements (more casual and less formal shoes) and planned accordingly to mitigate this eventuality.

“While it’s tough out there, there is also help for businesses if you look for it. I am due to start the Small Business Leadership Programme and I would really urge other businesses to do the same – so many others are going through the same challenges and we don’t have to all suffer alone.”