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Warwickshire business chief urges government action

BUSINESS leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have echoed national calls to provide incentives for firms to invest in growth as a way of rebuilding the economy in the aftermath of the Coronavirus crisis.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the British Chambers of Commerce’s (BCC) plea to Government for further support for businesses on the back of the Chancellor’s Spending Review would be welcomed by companies in the region.

She said: “The Spending Review underlined much immediate economic damage the Covid-19 crisis has caused but, also the lasting effect it will have on our economy for many years to come.

“This Chamber and others up and down the country have given credit to the Government for the unprecedented support measures it has introduced over the past eight months but we’ve also ensured that gaps in help have been highlighted to decision makers.

Coventry and Warwickshire chief executive Louise Bennett (43294038)
Coventry and Warwickshire chief executive Louise Bennett (43294038)

“The BCC is quite rightly pointing out that businesses will have been in survival mode for a year when we get through to the spring and they are going to need incentives and support to be able to invest in future growth, which will also lead to an economic uplift too.”

BCC Director General Adam Marshall said: "This spending review comes at a critical time as business communities are fighting for survival in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The launch of the National Infrastructure Strategy is an important step in overcoming the long-standing infrastructure deficit. We’ve spent long enough discussing infrastructure projects - it’s now time to focus on delivery.

“Measures to help people return to work at this challenging time will help limit long-term unemployment but Government must waste no time in putting these plans into action. Government and business will need to work together to re-train and re-skill the UK workforce. Investment in the Kickstart Scheme, in which Chambers are playing a leading role, and the launch of the Restart scheme, will be critical in helping to achieve that.

“With an uncertain winter ahead, the government will need to maintain an open mind on providing further support to businesses struggling to survive. As we look to rebuild and renew local and national economies, businesses will also need further significant incentives for investment in people, productivity and the planet.”

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