Following the announcement last night of a new national lockdown Chris Fletcher, Policy & Communications Director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “The announcement of a new lockdown wouldn’t have surprised that many as it has become increasingly obvious that further measures would again be required to halt the spread of the virus.

“For many businesses learning to cope with Covid has been a necessity for the best part of a year with measures and processes set up in the workplace and financial support available. However this support is not universal and we still hear from too many business owners that they have been excluded from any financial help.

“We also have a significant number of businesses in certain sectors such as hospitality, leisure, tourism and culture that have not been allowed to open fully if at all since the middle of March last year. Here in Greater Manchester we have had controls and restrictions of one form or another in place virtually throughout the pandemic and many business owners and their employees are facing a very uncertain next few months.

“This is why it is absolutely vital that effective financial support is immediately put in place reflecting the scale and scope of these new measures and that will support all businesses and employees through this coming period. This pandemic has hit everyone in one way or another and with a vaccine a reality and being rolled out, the end is in sight but that should be no reason now to skimp on financial support so vital to see businesses through. We await to see and hear from the Chancellor as to what measures will now be put in place to help shore up the economy so that the recovery, when it comes, will be sustained and effective.”

Last night Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, said:

“It is absolutely essential that we all put the health of our citizens first, and businesses will continue to step up in the national interest to support the NHS, employees and customers in the weeks ahead.

“In tandem we need to acknowledge that the economic impact of these new restrictions is significant.

“There are now a number of imperatives for government to support business.

“First, ensuring firms have the cashflow to make it through. Extending existing support has helped, but a broader range of measures will need to tackle this further hit to revenues.

“Second, the government must review and plug any coverage gaps from existing support that are now further exposed, for example in supply chains.

“And third, firms must have a clear line of sight and assurance that support will be there for as long as restrictions are in place so that they can stay the course rather than act precipitously.

“Meanwhile, British business stands ready to play its full part in the vaccine roll-out, increasing mass rapid testing and acting flexibly to support employees with caring responsibilities, while being attentive to the mental health of millions of employees.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here