Businesses need more clarity on support, says Liverpool Chamber chief

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £330bn support package during the coronavirus crisis and Liverpool Chamber CEO Paul Cherpeau says how businesses access it must be clear. Tony McDonough reports

Paul Cherpeau
Paul Cherpeau, chief executive of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. Picture by Gareth Jones

 

Liverpool Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Cherpeau says the Government must offer “clear and unambiguous detail’ about how businesses can access support during the coronavirus crisis.

On Tuesday, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a massive £330bn support package for businesses fighting for survival and described the impact of the virus as an “economic emergency”. He said he was extending the business rates holiday announced in last week’s Budget, to all firms in the hospitality sector and funding grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 for small businesses.

However, questions remain about whether the proposals go far enough and there has yet to be any specific support announced for Britain’s army of self-employed entrepreneurs. And Frank McKenna, chief executive of Liverpool-based lobby group Downtown in Business said how the support was delivered was key to its effectiveness.

Mr Cherpeau welcomed the Chancellor’s “comprehensive and substantial” support package and echoed Mr McKenna’s call for more clarity. He said: “It is essential that the announcement is backed up with clear and unambiguous detail about how businesses can access the financial support and the conditions that will apply to them.

“Cash is king for businesses and it is vital that the process for accessing this package of support is streamlined to ensure the impact of COVID-19 can be mitigated.

“The immediate requirement is for a mass delivery of triage for businesses experiencing a substantial shock to their standard business conditions. Issues pertaining to staff management, cashflow, investment and trade are brought to us by business every hour and it is imperative that their short term requirements are provided for.”

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