Paul Faulkner
Paul Faulkner

A business leader says the decision to extend the furlough scheme will be “a lifeline” for companies and workers in Lichfield and Burntwood.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today (12th May) that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until the end of October.

The scheme provides 80% of the salary of furloughed workers, up to £2,500 per month.

The current programme of support will continue until the end of July, with some changes made after that such as employers being able to bring workers back part time.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said:

“The Government’s furlough scheme has been a lifeline for employers and employees alike during this challenging period.

“We welcome the confirmation of the extension to furlough scheme in full to the end of July – it will provide welcome headspace and support for businesses as they begin to ramp up efforts to keep business moving.

“We are also pleased to see that the Government will be taking a phased approach to ending the scheme.

“While we await the detail on how the scheme will change between August and October, the indication that some form of ‘part time’ or partial furlough option will be available later in the year will be welcome for businesses starting to scale back up operations but who are not up to pre COVID-19 levels of demand.”

Paul Faulkner, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

“Employers recognise that this scheme cannot go on indefinitely”

Although the Government is looking to gradually bring the country out of lockdown with a phased return to work, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a new spike in cases could see measures reintroduced.

And Mr Faulkner said he hoped the Government would be flexible with plans for the future of the furlough process.

“Employers recognise that this scheme cannot go on indefinitely.

“The high level timeline provided today gives employers a framework for what is to come.

“Of course, so much is dependent on continuing to drive down cases of coronavirus in the UK.

“Should the Government need to ramp up lockdown measures again in future, we hope to see the Government take a flexible approach to development of this scheme inline with the economic reality and businesses’ needs.

“We would also welcome further sector specific support for those organisations that cannot start working towards ‘business as usual’ in the coming weeks, namely the hospitality industry and their supply chains.

“Those businesses most impacted by this crisis may need to see a higher level of support over a longer period of time as the scheme tapers down.”

Paul Faulkner, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

4 replies on “Business chief says decision to extend furlough scheme will be “a lifeline” for Lichfield and Burntwood companies and staff”

  1. Any support for businesses should be good, but I am still wary of how a lot of these schemes are being applied. Time will tell whether the level and type of support being available is correct. I sincerely hope that it is.

    As an aside, whenever I see Rishi Sunak I keep looking for the wires.
    His attempts to be personable and passionate and, dare I say, animated, merely make him look like a reject from the Thunderbirds puppet collection. When he waves his arms, apparently to emphasise a point, I keep imagining the puppeteer above him working overtime to inject some life into the wooden toy.
    Having said that, despite his wood-like performances, he is far more watchable than the rest of the Cabinet who flounder around like they have not only had all their puppet wires cut but also have extra helpings of sawdust between their ears.

  2. This is marvellous news and the Government should be congratulated on the amount of work it is doing to help businesses through this difficult time. The Chancellor seems to me to be the safe pair of hands we have required for a long time. He listens to businesses and offers “practical” support.

    The work being done locally is also very good to witness. The local leadership of businesses and the councils are clearly stepping up and doing what is best for companies.

    I can only conclude from the wealth of evidence available that we have the right leadership, both locally and nationally, to see us through these difficult times.

  3. I feel sorry for our children and children’s children because they will have to pay for this expenditure in the future.

  4. Though not round this area I know a successful business now struggling,their accountants tell them that out of over 70 applications for government loans in their area only 2 have succeeded. So there is a lot of government book fiddling as usual

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