20 October 2020
Damian Waters, CBI North West Director, said:
“National unity is essential to maintaining the confidence needed to help our economy, and compliance to reduce rising infection rates. So it’s deeply disappointing to witness divisions between local and central government, which have hindered Greater Manchester businesses’ ability to plan for the challenges ahead.
“Businesses will hope to see local and national leaders bury their differences and work in tandem to support both firms and individuals through the winter.
“Business knows public health must come first, and recognises that getting a grip on rising infection rates is vital to maintain confidence and avoid further restrictions in the months ahead.
“Yet there is no escaping the impact of additional restrictions across tiers 2 and 3. Firms in hard-hit sectors like hospitality, leisure and tourism – and their supply chains – have seen only a limited recovery from the earlier lockdown, and fresh obstacles could prove fatal for some. Additional financial support must therefore be made available as a matter of urgency to protect people’s livelihoods.
“Clear communication and transparent evidence for new restrictions is essential. And firms will want to see criteria for a tangible pathway to the timely easing of these new restrictions.”
CBI VIEW ON SUPPORT FOR AREAS MOVING INTO TIERS 2 AND 3
Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:
“Any restrictions which mandate business closures, whether local or national, must be joined in lockstep by financial measures which protect livelihoods during what is certain to be a difficult winter.
“Additional funding must be made available to local authorities, who are best placed to ensure it reaches those who need it most. Employers reeling from new restrictions are struggling.
“While the Government’s job support scheme has provided a bridge from furlough, more flexibility regarding employer contributions may be needed to help firms survive the winter.
“Without such support, the Government risks undermining its levelling-up ambitions and deepening economic inequalities.”