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4th Jul, 2022

Lockdown will leave firms needing urgent support, says local business leaders

ANOTHER lockdown will leave firms needing urgent support, says business leaders across Coventry and Warwickshire.

It comes after government announced another lockdown in England from Thursday (November 5).

Chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Louise Bennett, believes while the extension of the furlough scheme will bring relief, the closure of hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail will come as another blow to the regional economy.

She said: “Since the very beginning of the crisis, we have said that health must come first and that remains the case.

“But I have seen how hard so many of our businesses have worked to make themselves covid-secure and this latest announcement that will see them close for four weeks will hit them hard.

“The extension of furlough is to be welcomed but, just as before, it will need to be part of a wider package of measures and it’s important to remember that many firms will be worse off than they were ahead of the initial lockdown – so support will need to go further and it will be needed urgently.

“Companies we speak to day in, day out, want to play their part in getting on top of the virus but they also want to see that there is a plan that helps them to move forward. Financial support is welcome but nothing will beat them being able to actually do business.

“Businesses want to know that there is a long-term plan for the future and that, for those hardest hit, it’s not just about surviving today but how they will be able to invest and grow in the future. Government needs to be clear to companies that are struggling that there is a plan for better times ahead.”

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