Coronavirus: Dorset businesses face more uncertainty

Coronavirus: Dorset businesses face more uncertainty

Published by George Sharpe at 1:47pm 12th March 2020.

Dorset businesses are facing more uncertainty due to coronavirus, says Chamber chief exec.

Dorset Chamber of Commerce say businesses may need more government support if coronavirus gets worse, in light of yesterday's budget announcement.

Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said:

"The Budget was dominated by Coronavirus and clearly the government is taking the threat of COVID-19 very seriously.

"Small and medium sized businesses will be reassured that the Chancellor committed to reimburse them for employees' sick pay for up to 14 days...

"For four years businesses have had the uncertainty of Brexit hanging over them, and now they have the uncertainty of Coronavirus.

"The Budget necessarily concentrated on COVID-19 but the situation is changing all the time and more assistance might well be needed in due course." 

But, he also warmly welcomed other announcements that the chancellor made in his budget statement yesterday, such as the year-long pause on business rates for some sectors, as well as further funding for broadband.

"Another encouraging thing was the reiteration of the government's plan to invest £5bn to help spread 'gigabit-capable' broadband ISP networks across the UK by the end of 2025, as well as to push it into new build homes."

"Improved connectivity is vital for our region. The Chancellor spoke of changing the 'mindset' of government to consider regions more prominently.

"We hope the South and South West is included in this because there was little for our region specifically in the Budget, especially when it came to infrastructure projects that we very much need."

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