'Suffolk will come through these difficult times,' vow business leaders

People queue up to get their fish from Youngs market stall

Paul Simon, from Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, has outlined what he wants to see from the government to help businesses in 2021 - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk faces a "pivotal" 2021 if it is to recover from uncertainties with EU trading and coronavirus - but leaders have vowed it "will come through these difficult times".

Paul Simon, head of communications and policy at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said the county had faced a variety of challenges in 2020 - from Covid-19 and "corrosive uncertainties about our long-term trading relationship with the EU", to longer term problems with the  tax system.

He said: “Suffolk Chamber’s members are now looking for a well-thought out set of proposals with clearly articulated milestones over the next 12 months in order to allow them to regroup and deliver their investment and job creation options.

“Government has a key role to play in this."

On Covid-19, the chamber has called for a "clear 12-month plan of financial and practical support for businesses, including clarity on the furlough scheme and an extension of rates relief".

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It also wants to see an end to the "constant stop/start and bolt-on approach adopted by the government throughout much of 2020".

Paul Simon of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

Paul Simon of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. - Credit: SUFFOLK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

"It is vital that the test, track and trace system finally delivers and the vaccine rollout is expanded and extended to ensure the UK reaches the herd immunity tipping point sooner rather than later," Mr Simon added.

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“In terms of trade deals, the government must do more to help businesses adapt to whatever arrangement has been arrived at with the EU and to support them as they strive to access new non-EU markets.

“The 2021 Budget needs to be revolutionary in its scope to unfetter the unfair burdens that entrepreneurs and management teams face in building their businesses, not least the ways in which companies are taxed.

“Meanwhile, Suffolk Chamber will continue to offer a comprehensive support package to its members, and in addition will be able to offer all Suffolk firms help whether that be through the New Anglia Growth Hub, the Trade Business Advisers or our role in the Suffolk Gateway Partnership Kickstart scheme.

“Suffolk will come through these difficult times and 2021 will be pivotal as to the speed and depth of our renewal.”

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