Sara’s blog: Chamber Influencing Government Policy

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I am feeling very optimistic today and this is because I have two positive examples of how the Chamber network is having a real influence on government policy.

I was delighted to hear yesterday that Chancellor Rishi Sunak has once again listened to what business leaders have been calling for and has extended the Job Retention Scheme through to October.

This decision has come as a huge relief and a great help to millions of businesses across the UK.

The extension of the scheme and planned changes will help businesses bring people back to work through the introduction of a part-time furlough scheme. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) will engage with the Treasury and HMRC on the detail to ensure companies have the flexibility they need to reopen safely.

The Chambers are acutely aware that the Job Retention Scheme must evolve as consequences of the pandemic evolve. Further support may be required for companies who are unable to operate for an extended period, or those who face reduced capacity or demand due to ongoing restrictions, such as tourism and hospitality businesses.

Another positive note is the government guarantee to support provision of Trade Credit Insurance (TCI).  This is another issue we have discussed with members and subsequently raised with the BCC, using members’ words to give them evidence on this issue and drafting the letter for them to use.

The guarantee will be delivered through a temporary reinsurance agreement with insurers currently operating in the market and will cover trading by domestic and exporting firms and the intent is for the agreement are to be in place with insurers by the end of the month.

It will ensure a vital lifeline remains available during and after the crisis, helping to maintain supply chains and trade. Lasting provisionally until the end of the year, it will be followed by a review of the TCI market to ensure it can continue to support businesses in future. Full details at https://bit.ly/2Z0gpe6

I am sure you will agree that these are two positive examples of the government really listening to the concerns of the business communities, particularly Chambers of Commerce.

If there are any issues or concerns you would like us to raise at the highest level, then please let us know by emailing info@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

You can also call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002. We also have a weekday daily Twitter hour from 11am – 12noon #StaffsChamberChat

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