“Controlling the virus is crucial for the economy in the long run, but these measures will put great strain on an already fragile business community.
“The decision to reinstate furlough is absolutely the right one, and the announcement should bring relief to many businesses. Directors will be eager for clarity on the employer contributions, as we are now returning to circumstances much like the start of the summer.
With the return of restrictions, gaps in Government support need to be addressed. Small company directors who have gone without support throughout the crisis should be helped through local authority grants. Many of our members in the South West are SMEs or micro businesses and we know from talking to them that they have been frustrated by the number of gaps they have fallen through. Our hospitality and tourism sectors have been particularly hard hit and now face closing again at another peak time for business in the run up to Christmas, which is especially hard after investing considerably into making their venues as safe as possible.
“When we emerge from these restrictions, directors will want to see the Test and Trace system firing on all cylinders. This could be a key weapon in the fight against the virus, but it hasn't hit its target yet. The Prime Minister’s emphasis on this is welcome, but the results on the ground will matter most.”