23 April 2020
Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said:
“The Scottish Government’s recognition that the Covid-19 pandemic represents an unparalleled and interrelated public health and economic crisis shows exactly why a national response focused on both lives and livelihoods is the right one.
“Both the UK and Scottish governments have acted swiftly to support businesses, particularly in hardest-hit sectors like leisure, retail and tourism, but wider and more extensive support will be necessary as the crisis continues and restrictions remain.
“Firms across Scotland are already working through hugely challenging and uncertain times, while doing what they can to support staff and protect business operations. The vast majority of Scottish firms are not only meeting the requirements of social distancing rules but going much further to protect the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of staff.
“Businesses recognise that the lifting of lockdown must be phased and put public health first, but where firms are ready and able to meet social distancing requirements, they should be encouraged to return to operations to protect jobs and the economy. Supporting businesses to prepare for a ‘new normal’ is welcome and will allow many SMEs to re-open their doors and help re-start the economy.
“The UK and Scottish governments must work in lockstep to ensure the lifting of restrictions is done in an effective and coordinated manner, while listening to and acting on evidence provided by businesses to inform decisions and timetables.”