Chamber Reacts to Second Lockdown

Commenting on the announcement that England will face tougher restrictions, Chris Fletcher, Policy, Campaigns and Communications Director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “The news that England will be, in effect, going into a second lockdown on 5th November will come as yet another bitter disappointment for huge numbers of businesses and their staff, many of whom are still struggling from the after effects from the March lockdown and continuing restrictions.

"We have already started to see the impact on sales and confidence throughout October caused by the uncertainty created by the threat of harsher restrictions under the Tier system.

"Many businesses fully recognise why this is being done and it’s vital that the virus is brought under control to preserve the wider health of the community and protect the NHS. However the stop-start nature of government decision making is making the situation worse than it needs to be for businesses trying to plan ahead. Businesses are having to turn on a sixpence to prevent large scale redundancies – support schemes in place one day are changed completely the day after and many are finding it difficult to keep up.

"The continuation of furlough and other business support measures are welcome but it is still not 100% clear what happens at the end of the restrictions in December. We hope that these unanswered questions will be sorted in the next few days.

"Other governments have made their strategic plans over a 12 or 18 month period and we urgently need the same approach here to help businesses through what is looking increasingly like a tough few months ahead."

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About Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, providing business support to approximately 4,500 members who collectively employ 446,000 people, around one-third of Greater Manchester’s workforce. Recognised as a leader in its field, Greater Manchester Chamber’s reputation in government circles has grown locally and nationally. At the heart of the area of greatest economic intensity outside London and the South East, the Chamber is the primary body for business support, policy, representation and networking. The Chamber is an independent, not-for-profit private company and its aim is to support businesses and help create the best climate for the region to prosper. This is achieved by ensuring that those taking decisions on key issues such as transport, taxation and business regulation hear the voice of our members. The representation of our members’ views is central to the work of the policy team at the Chamber; these views are gathered in a range of ways including our local councils, policy committees, sector councils, the main Chamber council, focus groups, meetings with politicians and consultations. The Chamber also offers a range of networking forums across Greater Manchester, free as part of membership, plus a variety of other events and services designed to benefit specific sectors or individuals and help businesses to grow.

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