The West & North Yorkshire Chamber have signed a letter to the Prime Minister from the British Chambers of Commerce to set five business tests that must be met to limit the impact of Coronavirus restrictions on businesses and jobs and take a long-term approach to tackling the pandemic.
The letter from the Accredited Chamber Network – which collectively represents 75,000 firms of all sizes and sectors across the UK employing nearly six million people – comes following a week of increasing, regionally tiered restrictions, with more severe ‘circuit breaker’ restrictions under consideration, as the country battles a second wave of the pandemic.
Dr Marshall, Baroness McGregor-Smith and the Chamber Chief Executives challenge the Prime Minister to meet five business tests for current and prospective Coronavirus restrictions:
- Are the restrictions evidence-based and targeted effectively?
- Are the restrictions clear and do businesses have time to prepare?
- Is support for businesses commensurate with the impact on them?
- Will the time that the restrictions are in place be used to significantly improve the Test, Trace and Isolate system?
- Is there a clear process for increasing and decreasing restrictions?
The letter reads: “While the recent announcement of an enhanced Job Support Scheme will assist some firms, Chamber members tell us it will not be enough to stave off mass redundancies and business failures.”
Chambers are clear about the consequences of not meeting the tests. The letter continues: “These tests must be met – to avoid serious damage to business and consumer confidence, and potentially catastrophic economic consequences. We must preserve our economy in the immediacy, while also laying the foundations of future growth. Failure to do so will undermine any broader efforts to ‘level up’ left-behind parts of the UK.”