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Business groups call for more support following new restrictions

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's speech in which he outlined new coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions for businesses in England, business groups have called for further government support.

23 Sep 2020

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's speech in which he outlined new coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions for businesses in England, business groups have called for further government support.

Commenting on the new measures, Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: 'Businesses, their employees and customers need to see a clear road map for the existing restrictions and those that may be introduced in the future. This must include transparent trigger points and clarity about the support available to protect jobs and livelihoods.

'The government should waste no time in setting out a comprehensive support package for firms forced to close or reduce capacity through no fault of their own.'

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: 'While it's encouraging to see the government striking a balance between protecting public health and protecting the economy, this fresh round of restrictions will cause significant disruption for thousands of small firms.

'It's important to remember that small firms have already spent thousands on putting safety measures in place but received no funding to support their efforts to do the right thing.'

Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said a national effort to increase testing capability will be vital. Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the CBI, said: 'A second national lockdown would be devastating for our economy, so it's right to prioritise bringing infections under control.

'A clear timetable is welcome, but six months will come as a shock to many. Every possible step should now be taken to bring that horizon forward. This requires a turbo-charged testing regime to help control the virus quickly.'

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