MORE recovery support is needed for events, leisure and hospitality firms say business leaders in Warwickshire and Coventry.
The region’s Chamber of Commerce is urging the government to consider another round of support for the sector in order to build a sustainable, economic recovery.
GDP – the measure of economic output – grew by 6.6 per cent in July building on 8.7 per cent growth in June. The UK economy is, however, still 11.7 per cent smaller than when the coronavirus crisis struck.
Chamber chief executive Louise Bennett, said the uplift in GDP had been helped by Government support.
She said: “It has been great to see more and more businesses reopening and trading again but there are still many companies who simply can’t get back to business under the current restrictions. They still need help to survive the pandemic.
“The Government has supported the economic recovery with a range of measures and it must consider its next round of help for businesses as we enter this very important phase where the pent up demand after lockdown will start to drop off and some of those original schemes – such as furlough – start to end.
“The events, hospitality, leisure and tourism sector that is so vital to Coventry and Warwickshire will desperately need further help, especially our mid-sized companies, which could be in the form of a sector-specific furlough scheme, enhanced bounce back loans or business rates discount.”
The Chamber’s head of economics Suren Thiru added, while data confirmed economic activity had picked up in July, unemployment was likely to surge.
He said: “The UK economy is currently in a period of temporary calm, with activity buoyed by the government’s emergency support measures and the unwinding of pent-up customer demand as more parts of the economy reopened.
“However, with many firms continuing to face an unprecedented cash crisis and unemployment likely to surge as the support schemes wind down, there remains little prospect of a sustained resurgence unless substantial action is taken.
“To protect jobs and livelihoods, the government should consider extending and adapting the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to ensure businesses are supported sustainably over a longer period, as well as introducing a more significant package of support for firms placed under local restrictions.”