On 20th May Dorset Chamber hosted a Business Partner Q&A session with Tobias Ellwood MP, who gave an overview of his view on areas relating to a post-pandemic economic recovery; the current state of international relations; the progress already made by HM Treasury on the business support package and the need to ensure it goes further to ensure everyone is looked after.
Tobias also highlighted the need and opportunity for councils and other governing bodies to think beyond their traditional remit and be creative when it comes to solutions for the region’s specific needs.
The Q&A session invited pertinent questions from the audience across a range of subjects including:
- ensuring the regional needs for recovery are understood at government level;
- the challenges colleges and the University face with reopening;
- the need for local organisations to work collectively to support regional recovery;
- a request for the language to be changed at government level from ‘social distancing’ to ‘physical distancing’ as ‘social connection’ is important for recovery;
- government guidance on employer liability;
- a request for policy change to protect subcontractors, especially micro businesses;
- a request for the planningprocess to bemade less protractedwhen companies are wishing to move and expand;
- and a request for ministers not to talk up a recession as it is unhelpful to those organisations who can and are still doing business.
One participant also urged employers to remember to be kind to employees at this time.
The Dorset Gateway, represented by Suzannah Kennedy, was also invited to give feedback to Tobias on a particular government support issue pertaining to the new discretionary grant scheme, which currently precludes some self-employed people from accessing much needed support funds which would otherwise keep small and micro businesses going.
Ian Girling, closed the event by asking Tobias Ellwood to pass on thanks from the business community for putting support measures in place, and highlighted that the continued work of the British Chambers of Commerce feeding into Government on behalf of the business community will continue through this crisis.
Simon Boyd, managing director at REIDsteel said: “This event for Business Partners of the Chamber to have a face-to-face conversation directly with one of our local MPs shows how well connected the Chamber is in providing a voice for business.”