Policy perspective on responding to Covid-19
Shane Taylor

Shane Taylor

I've been asked to give a quick update on how the Chamber is responding to the COVID-19 situation from a policy perspective. Primarily, we've been focused on answering your queries where we can, and where we can't, looking to escalate those issues and gaps in support to government ministers and departments, both directly here and through our national teams at the Scottish and British Chambers of Commerce.

In the last few weeks we've put your concerns directly to the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy in the Scottish Government, and the Secretary of State for Scotland at a UK level. Government is listening, and we've already seen changes made to the job retention scheme and loan schemes based on feedback from businesses.

There are plenty of areas outstanding of course. Extending the jobs retention scheme beyond May is going to be vitally important to protect jobs, widening business rates relief to those doing the right thing and working from home, and ensuring that the guidance around social distancing is consistent and crystal clear to allow businesses to operate where it is safe to do so.

We can only do this work with your vital feedback. We'll be sending a further note to elected representatives in the coming days outlining the main business concerns facing the North-east, so please feed in if you can by sending your views to policy@agcc.co.uk