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A business chief has welcomed the Chancellor’s economic statement – but says several key issues for Lichfield and Burntwood companies have not been addressed.

Rishi Sunak unveiled measures including a £1,000 job retention bonus for employers who bring back furloughed staff and a reduction in VAT on some leisure activities.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said he hoped further measures would be introduced to support other industries.

Paul Faulkner

“While there was much welcome news, some areas were notable by their absence.

“There was no word on support for businesses falling through the gaps of coronavirus support such as directors of limited companies.

“No further sector specific support for major industries outside of hospitality and attractions. The major events industry, certain personal services such as nail bars, indoor gyms and nightclubs among others aren’t yet able to open at all. 

“Some businesses, such as dentists and in the travel industry, are still facing severe restrictions that could still close a lot of businesses before the end of the year – and a significant fall in demand for new vehicles, compounded by COVID-19, continues to impact the automotive industry and their supply chain.

“All in all, while the Government won’t be able to solve all of the economy’s problems, there’s a lot more still to be addressed and much of it won’t be able to wait for the Autumn budget.”

Paul Faulkner

Mr Faulkner urged the chancellor to follow the “innovative take” on supporting the hospitality sector.

“While we welcome the significant cut to VAT on food, accommodation and attractions we hope to see further measures to reduce VAT on consumer goods to help boost the struggling retail sector. 

“The ‘eat out to help out’ scheme, while incredibly specific, represents an interesting and innovative take on supporting hospitality and we look forward, with interest, to learning more about how it will work in practice.”

Paul Faulkner


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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