Sara’s Blog: Back to lockdown, Business Awards and Remembrance Day

Here we go again, back to lockdown!

Business confidence has already been hit so hard by the stop-start approach to lockdown taken by the government since March. The new restrictions are a real blow to businesses and particularly frustrating for the retail and hospitality sector who have already done everything in their power to adapt and operate safely.

Whilst there is no substitute to a fully functioning economy, the temporary extension to the furlough scheme and revised support for the self-employed will bring short-term relief to many and echoes the Chambers’ call for business support to be commensurate with the scale of lockdown restrictions.

It falls to us all to help our local retailers and hospitality outlets as much as we can. Many retailers are providing online shops and cafes, pubs and restaurants are moving to a takeaway service for food and drinks.

Two great local initiatives are the City Centre Business Improvement District’s Mi Rewards card with fantastic discounts, prizes and offers: and Leek’s brand new ‘high street online’ website:

I am getting very excited about the 2020 Staffordshire Chambers Business Awards gala presentation evening on 19th November which will be live online from the New Vic Theatre with myself and our special guest presenter, Ed James from Heart FM.

I have been heartened by the number of people who have signed up for the event, over 250 so far, and by the people who have said how much they are looking forward to a positive celebration amidst so much bad news.

It is a chance to dress up, have a glass of your favourite drink and join in on a celebration of all that is good about our fantastic local businesses. You can join the fun by booking your place here:

Finally, the Chambers is proud to commemorate Remembrance Day on the 11th November. Paying respect to all those in the armed forces from Britain and the Commonwealth who gave their lives to defend our democratic freedoms and way of life, as well as highlighting support for the current serving forces and veterans.

Staffordshire is steeped in military and we have our very own Honorary Colonel of the British Army, in ex-Chamber President Mike Frewer, who represents the Armed Forces on the Chambers’ Council. We are also extremely proud to have Midland Reserve Forces & Cadet Association as patrons.

We will certainly be wearing our poppies with pride.

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email

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