Kent Invicta Chamber CEO Jo James calls on more support for business after Boris Johnson announces third national lockdown

Businesses are clamouring to hear the new measures to support them through the latest national lockdown, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak expected to make a statement in the Commons later today.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new measures - coming into force from Wednesday - on Monday night. But business chiefs in the county reacted with alarm at the lack of any support packages.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce further support measures later today
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce further support measures later today

Jo James, chief executive of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, which represents firms across the county, said: "Businesses will understand why the Prime Minister has felt compelled to act on the spiralling threat to public health, but they will be baffled and disappointed by the fact that he did not announce additional support for affected businesses alongside these new restrictions.

“The lockdown announced in England is a body blow to our business communities, hard on the heels of lost trade during the festive season and uncertainty linked to the end of the Brexit transition period. Tens of thousands of firms are already in a precarious position, and now face a period of further hardship and difficulty.

“Billions have already been spent helping good firms to survive this unprecedented crisis and to save jobs. These businesses must not be allowed to fail now, when the vaccine rollout provides light at the end of this long tunnel.

"The financial support for businesses needs to be stepped up in line with the devastating restrictions being placed on them. Otherwise, many of these firms may simply not be there to power our recovery when we emerge once again.

“Enhanced support for businesses, a turbo-charged vaccine rollout, and delivery of existing promises on mass testing must be delivered to enable the UK to restart, rebuild and renew.”

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