The Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Steve Fogg, has welcomed the measures introduced by Government amid fears that many of the county’s businesses will suffer adversely due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking after the announcement, Steve said ”The £330bn package of measures announced by Government will allow businesses to access Government backed loan schemes to help with cash flow and will go some way to help our businesses and preserve jobs during this extraordinary time. I am sure this is just the start of direct Government support which will be undoubtedly needed if many small businesses are to survive this unprecedented time.
”Our Lancashire businesses and residents are facing extraordinary challenges in what is an extremely unsettling time for us all, and which could have long-reaching consequences for the Lancashire economy and the sustainability of some of our businesses. Whilst the measures will provide some relief, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership will continue to monitor the effect of the virus on Lancashire’s businesses and work with local MPs and Government in an attempt to minimise the commercial impact of social distancing and isolation.”
He went on to say, ”SMEs are the lifeblood of the Lancashire economy and will be particularly vulnerable and require support. I would therefore urge our larger businesses to help and support our smaller companies in their supply chains which will be less resilient to the economic consequences of Covid-19. We need to ensure we do everything possible to prevent a short sharp shock turning into a prolonged period of uncertainty. This will be especially relevant to those in the hospitality sector where the effects of the recent Government advice will be more immediate.
”The interventions announced have acknowledged the pressures being felt by those in the hospitality and retail sectors by granting 12 months business rate relief and cash grants of scale to help with fixed costs, but I have no doubt more help will be needed.
”Naturally our residents will also be concerned about their jobs and we hope that the commitment from banks to offer mortgage holidays for those experiencing difficulties as a result of Covid-19 will provide some comfort. Whilst I appreciate it will not be possible in some cases, I would ask for employers to introduce flexible working arrangements for their staff to alleviate some of their concerns.
”The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership will continue to monitor the planned further announcements of economic support packages over the next few days to ensure the proposals are sufficient to mitigate the impact of the virus and ensure businesses are able to recover and jobs are not lost to the Lancashire economy.
”Over the coming days, our business growth hub website will be issuing help and advice for businesses and information on how to access the economic support package.”
Business help and advice can be accessed via the Lancashire Growth Hub website: https://www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk/