Government announcements made on business support during the pandemic have a real impact on the ground which is why it is essential that there is consistency, time to plan and timely, adequate financial support. The Government approach has often fallen short of this with a number of issues for local businesses that we have raised with Government.
Some of the issues raised with me and that I have found most disappointing includes:
- Gaps in financial support for some businesses, charities, social enterprises and larger businesses as well as free-lance and other workers.
- A discretionary business support grant scheme that was woefully inadequate and left many organisations without the support they needed
- Last minute changes to restrictions proving to be costly and almost impossible to manageFunding going to businesses who did not need it while businesses that did need it missed out
- No additional support during the phase of tier 2 restrictions in Nottingham
- Announcements by Government followed by long periods with a lack of technical detail
- Tier 3 only gave hours to respond to the changes required and a lack of definition of rules.
Most frustrating and damaging in terms of business confidence though that there is any kind of plan and forward thinking was the announcement of the second national lockdown only a day after Nottingham was put into tier 3 restrictions by Government.
The Government must remember that business owners have put their lives into building up businesses and growing and creating local jobs. Throughout the pandemic Nottingham Labour councillors and MPs have been lobbying Government to protect jobs and save good Nottingham businesses from going under and I will continue to make that case on behalf of businesses in our city.
Cllr Sam Webster,
Portfolio Holder for Finance, Growth and City Centre