Stratford MP tells business more government action on the cards

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Mr Zahawi at a Chamber event last year.

STRATFORD’S MP told businesses in the area the government is listening to their cashflow concerns and said more measures could be announced in the weeks ahead.

Nadhim Zahawi, in his role as Minister for Business, made the pledge during a video conference on Tuesday, with around 60 companies.

It was hosted by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and TalkBusiness, as part of a new initiative by the chamber called #PolicyHour.

The Minister took questions on issues ranging from furloughing through to further support for company bosses who normally take a low wage but top up their pay with dividends.

He was also asked about further help for very recently established businesses – who slip through the net of the government’s coronavirus support so far – and also when lockdown come to an end.

Mr Zahawi said: “Never in my lifetime have we seen such an extraordinary amount of money put behind the economy by a Chancellor of the Exchequer.

“The £330 billion of funding, and the promise of more if necessary, over and above what was announced in the Budget just a month ago is truly unprecedented.

“The systems we have put in place to deliver this support are being built from scratch but we recognise there is a need to get the money through to companies at speed. The more flexibility and complexity we built into these systems would slow down how quickly we could get the support to businesses.

“We are listening and online meetings such as this are a really useful means of hearing from different businesses in order to get a feel for where improvements can be made.

“What we have also shown is that, as a government, we are ready to act and bring in further measures if some businesses aren’t getting the support they need to survive.

“We will therefore keep talking and listening to businesses because they will be the backbone of the economic recovery when we come through this crisis, and come through we will.”

Policy officer at the chamber, Sean Rose, said: “It was a very informative call with Mr Zahawi who spent in excess of an hour on the call with businesses from across the area answering questions very openly, at what is a very pressured time for those at the top of Government.

“Throughout this period we will maintain a very open dialogue with decision-makers in our area to ensure the voice of business is being heard.”