Reacting to the statement issued today following a meeting of the SCC Business Advisory Group, Chamber chief executive Russell Borthwick added:

“This reflects entirely what we are hearing multiple times on a daily basis from our companies in our business community that are struggling to survive and protect the jobs of their people.

"The voice of business and the economy is missing from the debate which is being dominated by science, medicine and politicians. We need a better balance and our governments to put more trust in business to do the right things by their staff and customers.”

SCC statement:

“Talk of a further blanket lockdown is unacceptable to Scottish businesses. It would damage consumer and business confidence which have already taken an unprecedented economic hit throughout this crisis.

“Returning to national lockdown measures will take our economy back to square one - we simply cannot continue to keep switching the lights of the economy on and off. It risks not just jobs but the wellbeing of entire communities.

“Instead, we should focus on using the evidence we have to target problem areas. We have seen how Test and Trace and better data means we are in a much different place than at the start of the pandemic. The data the Scottish Government now has is sophisticated and detailed and will show which environments and geographical areas the virus is spreading. In the vast majority of cases, the recent growth and spread of the virus is not coming from business-managed environments. Companies across Scotland have invested heavily to protect its customers and employees - we are playing an outsized role in the fight against the spread of the virus.

“We know the virus will be with us for a long time. We must learn to manage it so we can carry on with our lives and protect livelihoods while keeping the risk of transmission as low as possible."

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