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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

LOCHHEAD CONVENES MORAY BUSINESS TALKS ON CORONAVIRUS

18/03/2020  

Richard Lochhead MSP this morning at short notice convened a meeting via telephone conference with Moray business representatives and agencies to discuss the economic impact of the coronavirus and the challenges facing local businesses. 

Key issues that have been identified is the need for businesses to be able to access grants and financial support in the coming days. Local businesses are reporting that they’re struggling to cover overheads as income has reduced significantly since the outbreak.

It was agreed that a special Moray business resilience forum would now be established with an independent chair to ensure good communication and access to essential information during the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Local elected representatives and others the local business community and agencies would be invited to join.

Commenting Richard Lochhead said:

“These are unprecedented times with local people and businesses bracing themselves for a most difficult few months ahead.

“It was very helpful to speak with representatives from Moray’s private sector to get feedback on the biggest issues for local businesses and self-employed people.

“This is going to be a very challenging time for local businesses of all sizes, with sectors like tourism facing a huge downturn and I know that sector is already feeling the effects. What is clear is that livelihoods are on the line and business owners and employees are incredibly anxious about what will happen in the days and weeks ahead. 

“The Scottish and UK Governments are bringing forward help for businesses, which I very much welcome, but nevertheless the damage is going to be significant and the clear message I got from our local business leaders is that they need to be able to access that cash as soon as is humanly possible.

“The potential of the economic downturn to shatter local businesses of all sizes and consequentially people’s lives is very real but with the right support in place we can get through this and it is so important that we work together, which is why we’ve agreed that local agencies should work to establish an resilience forum for Moray’s business community so we can ensure everyone is on the same page, and that key issues are being fed back to both the Scottish and UK Governments.”

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