This following a nationwide survey of over 1,000 chartered accountants.
John Collier, general secretary of the ICAEW, said a means-tested foot-and-mouth hardship fund would enable companies which have been hit hard to keep business afloat both in the midst of the crisis and in the longer term.
While recognising measures the government had already introduced to assist farmers affected by the epidemic, Collier said a further range of financial assistance was required to help businesses survive.
According to the survey, the highest proportion of respondents supported the provision of a one-off subsidy of 10% of turnover to help businesses survive the immediate impact of the disease, and also favoured a government contribution to loan/overdraft interest payments for a specific period.
Earlier this month, an Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question survey revealed foot-and-mouth was effecting one-fifth of all UK companies. Costs to the UK tourism industry alone have been estimated at Pounds 250m a week.
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