Sara’s Blog: New post-lockdown tier designations and reaction to Chancellor’s Spending Review

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It’s been yet another momentous week for business as the Health Minister gave details of the restrictions we will be living under when the national lockdown ends on 2nd December and the Chancellor set out the details of his Spending Review on Wednesday.

It is now clear that the whole of Staffordshire will be moving into the tier three, allowing non-essential retail to reopen, whilst hospitality remains closed and households remain banned from mixing outdoors.

On a positive note, tier three areas will receive extra funding, yet to be announced, as well as more virus testing to help control infections as the government aims to get out of the toughest restrictions as fast as possible. To this end they will work with local authorities to get tests to where they are most needed and to get people to come forward.

As a chamber, and with the Growth Hub, we will be here to help you find out if you are eligible and how to access any available funding – as soon as the details are announced. As we know, sometimes we have schemes that are announced and they take ages to actually be delivered. This is something we have consistently put to government as a flaw in the support they have offered.

What we do not want is for the government to keep switching businesses on and off like a light bulb without expecting even more severe consequences. The Chambers, through the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), will be lobbying government for a plan that keeps Covid-secure businesses, and the economy, open throughout the winter and beyond until the positive effects of a vaccine programme begin to turn the pandemic around.

If you have any immediate concerns or views around the new tier system restrictions, please let us know so we can represent your views to government. You can email them to info@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review, came at a critical time as business communities are fighting for survival and looking for clear guidance during the pandemic. We will be looking at all aspects of the Review in the next week or so and seeing how we feel it is going to impact Staffordshire businesses – and what needs to happen for the people of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to benefit from the announcements.

As part of the review the government has promised action on help for people to return to work to help limit long-term unemployment, and we will be playing our part in helping people to re-train and re-skill through the Kickstart Scheme for young people aged 18-25, and our brand new Start Scheme which will offer support and interest free loans to people looking to start a new business.

You can see the BCC’s reaction to the Spending Review in full here: https://bit.ly/378E1PZ

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: info@staffordshirechambers.co.uk.

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