COVID Winter Plan: Suffolk Chamber asks
Paul Simon, head of policy & communications:
"After a year-and-a-half of lockdowns and an often contradictory and ever-changing advice and messaging, Suffolk’s business community is looking for certainty above anything else.
Firstly, the COVID Winter Plan needs to extend across the next six months and not only over the next three as this will avoid another cliff edge in terms of business planning.
Secondly, there needs to be crystal clear scenario planning, so that businesses can anticipate when the evidence from available COVID19 data, such as infection rates or new variants, or NHS capacity issues, is likely to necessitate a change in guidance.
Thirdly, we will be expecting a clear menu of business support measures that can be called on should companies’ usual trading arrangements have to be curtailed by Government fiat. These support mechanisms need to be announced as part of the original package and not dropped in over subsequent months.
Finally, local businesses will expect the Government to also focus on its longer-term legislative agenda, not least in improving the county’s skills pipeline in readiness for a sustainable green economy. This requires that the Government engages with a renewed purpose with Suffolk Chamber in ensuring that the needs of the county’s entrepreneurs are fully understood and embedded, not least regarding the recent reported declines in business investment.”