DGChamber President responds to Chancellor’s Winter Economic Plan

Following the announcement today by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP of a new wage support scheme and a package of business lending extension and tax forbearance, Kenny Bowie, President of DGChamber said:

 

Kenny Bowie

"Thousands of jobs in ou region are reliant on the current furlough scheme so we are pleased the Chancellor has listened to our calls and introduced a new wage support scheme, along with a package of business lending scheme extensions and tax forbearance. This should help save many from losing their jobs completely and lessen the immediate pressure on cash flow for businesses, particularly during what will continue to be difficult trading conditions this coming winter.

"However topping up wages can only ever be a sticking plaster. In Dumfries & Galloway we need a comprehensive plan focused on retraining and upskilling our workforce and investment in the creation of new jobs.

"As a matter of urgency, we need both governments to reduce costs so we are able to invest and start growing our businesses again. We call on the Scottish Government to put a stop on the legislative instrument going through the Scottish Parliament next month which would delay the revaluation of property rates from 2022 to 2023. We must also fast track all construction and infrastructure contracts that can get Scottish businesses building back.

"We need to build confidence for businesses and the consumers that support them.”

 

"The chancellor has listened to calls to support the hospitality and tourism businesses, so vital to this region. The 5% rate of VAT will remain in place for hospitality and tourism until the end of March 2021 and won't go back up to 20% in January. This is a glimmer of hope for this sector and will hopefully see a boost coming into the Christmas and New Year period as well as through the traditionally quiet January and February."

 

"When it comes to bounce back loans, to give small businesses more time and flexibility Mr Sunak says he's introducing "pay as you grow", so loans can be extended from six to ten years. 

This will nearly halve the average monthly repayment, he claims.
Struggling firms can make interest-only repayments and anyone can apply to suspend repayments for up to six months. No companies will see their credit ratings affected.
Business interruption loans will have their government guarantee extended to ten years.
And the extending deadline of all loan schemes will be pushed back until the end of 2020.
A new successor loan guarantee programme will also be rolled out in January.

This is all great news and allows businesses to planon a much longer  term and keep that cash which will be so important over coming months."