Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it was a time to be cautiously optimistic as he revealed a new Job Support Scheme to help keep people in work but on shorter time where business demand had fallen.
He also revealed help for the self-employed as well as help with cashflow for businesses by changing the terms on Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, as well as more time and flexibility on deferred tax bills.
The Chancellor also extended the reduction in VAT for hospitality and tourism businesses to five per cent until March 2021.
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The crisis has evolved over the past six months and it’s welcome that the Government support for the economy has recognised this and has evolved too.
“Six months ago, most of us were being effectively told to lock the doors on our businesses and it was only those who could work from home that could continue to operate in any real capacity.
“Now, we face a different approach where many businesses are now back and the Government has made it clear that those in manufacturing and construction, for example, should continue to operate providing it is in a Covid-19 compliant way.
“Therefore, this new raft of measures serves to help save as many jobs as possible where business demand has decreased due to the crisis, and recognises that cashflow still remains a major issue for firms – even those who are operating again.
“Some of the measures are of a direct result of feedback Chambers have had from members and have been put forward by colleagues at the British Chambers of Commerce to Government, so it is great to see the voice of business being heard.
“I am very keen to see how easy it will be to access the new support and, also, how those larger businesses will have to demonstrate their eligibility.
“There are also still sectors that are still some way off being able to return, particularly those in business events and conferences and, just as he did at the start of the crisis, we’d urge the Chancellor to look at developing the support for business over the coming weeks and months.”
To read more about supporting jobs during the winter period article click here >