Coventry businesses welcome support in Winter Economy Plan

Coventry business leaders have praised the Government’s plan to protect jobs and support businesses into the winter.

Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have praised the Chancellor’s latest round of support measures in the evolving coronavirus crisis.

Rishi Sunak said it was a time to be cautiously optimistic as he revealed his new Job Support Scheme to help keep people in work but on shorter time where business demand has fallen.

He also revealed help for the self-employed as well as help with cashflow for businesses by changing the terms on Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, as well as more time and flexibility on deferred tax bills.

The Chancellor also extended the reduction in VAT for hospitality and tourism businesses to five per cent until March 2021.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, commented on the measures: “The crisis has evolved over the past six months and it’s welcome that the Government support for the economy has recognised this and has evolved too.

“We face a different approach where many businesses are now back and the Government has made it clear that those in manufacturing and construction, for example, should continue to operate providing it is in a COVID-19 compliant way.

“Therefore, this new raft of measures serves to help save as many jobs as possible where business demand has decreased due to the crisis and recognises that cashflow still remains a major issue for firms – even those who are operating again.

“Some of the measures are of a direct result of feedback Chambers have had from members and have been put forward by colleagues at the British Chambers of Commerce to Government, so it is great to see the voice of business being heard.

“There are also still sectors that are still some way off being able to return, particularly those in business events and conferences and, just as he did at the start of the crisis, we’d urge the Chancellor to look at developing the support for business over the coming weeks and months.”

British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall called the measures a “substantial step” that will help businesses “preserve jobs and navigate through the comings months.”

He also warned that the Chancellor “must remain open to taking additional action” to support particular industries into the winter.

Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons on Thursday that “the primary goal of our economic policy remains unchanged – to support people’s jobs – but the way we achieve that must evolve.”