Doncaster business owner and President of the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce has today called on the government for more clarity as the business community, and the country, teeters on the brink of a second national lockdown.
Jill Wood, Managing Director of Doncaster based Signum Facilities Management, said businesses are already reeling from the effects of the first Covid lockdown, and are now facing another “devastating blow” which could send many of them to the wall.
“A fresh wave of redundancies, despite the Government extending the furlough scheme for workers, is very possible, many of the self-employed and micro businesses simply will not survive” said Ms Wood, “While appreciating the Government has to strike a careful balance between preserving the economy and public health, businesses in Doncaster, and the South Yorkshire area, will be especially concerned by the latest lockdown which will damage business and consumer confidence.”
Ms Wood warned, “Businesses who already have depleted reserves will not be able to stand another devastating blow and whilst the furlough scheme is generous and will hopefully save individual jobs, businesses have ongoing fixed costs and we will face mass redundancies if the businesses themselves cannot survive. She continued, “Business and market confidence have been hit hard by the unclear, stop-start approach taken by governments across the UK over the past eight months, with little end in sight, and, while there is no substitute for a functioning economy, the full financial support package for businesses facing hardship, whether through loss of demand or closure, must immediately be clarified and communicated.
“The Government must not squander the time afforded to them through another lockdown to enable mass testing and fix test-and-trace systems - which hold the key to a lasting exit strategy for both public health and the economy.
“This is going to be a very tough time for businesses and the Chamber stands ready to support them as best we can.”