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Latest statement from Chamber Board Director Julie Hawker

Please find below the latest statement from Chamber Board Director Julie Hawker, following the Government announcement regarding the Job Support Scheme. 

“The next six months will be critical for all business sectors with a very challenging combination of Covid related restrictions and Brexit. Indeed, latest stats from ONS show that the economy has shrunk by 11.7% compared to pre-lockdown and British Chambers of Commerce state that, due to Covid crisis, there’s been little time to plan for Brexit with just 38% of businesses saying they’ve done a risk assessment for change in trading conditions in January.

“Whilst Exeter Chamber welcomes additional Government support including the new Job Support Scheme, the cut in VAT for hospitality, the extension of self-employment income support and more flexible pay back terms on business loans, we know that trading conditions are hard and that, in some cases, businesses face a complete pause on activity and income for the next six months. While undoubtedly the new schemes will help in the immediate future, there is a concern they won’t go far enough to protect otherwise viable businesses and their employees.  

“This, coupled with the end of the Brexit transition period, should be a key focus for Government to support the economy over the longer term.

“It continues to be vital for the Chamber, that all sectors in the Greater Exeter area are supported through the winter period ahead and will continue to lobby and provide support wherever we can.”