Posted on Thursday 24th September 2020
New Government measures to support people’s jobs and businesses announced today will be backed by continued interventions put in place by the county council and local enterprise partnership.
Staffordshire County Council leader Alan White and chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Alun Rogers welcomed the measures unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The national six-month Job Support Scheme will begin on November 1, the day after the Job Retention Scheme ends. It will mean eligible employees working 33 per cent of their usual hours would receive 77 per cent of their normal pay. This would be through both employer and Government contributions. In addition, the self-employed grant scheme will be continued on similar conditions and other measures brought in to help businesses with cashflow.
The county council’s support package has included a £500,000 emergency grant scheme for micro businesses, a £360,000 fund for start-up businesses, a PPE starter pack programme that has delivered 1,000 items of PPE for micro businesses and cancelling delayed rent payments at enterprise centres.
This is in addition to the £143million made available to businesses by the Government through district and borough councils for small businesses, a countywide redundancy task group made up of 20 organisations and the national Job Retention Scheme.
Staffordshire County Council leader Alan White said:
We welcome the Chancellor’s further commitment to protect people’s jobs and support businesses through the new support scheme. This is critical as the Job Retention Scheme draws to a close next month.
We recognise there will be incredibly difficult times ahead for people, businesses and our economy, especially with the introduction of the latest Covid-19 restrictions.
The county council moved swiftly to put in place our economic recovery programme and set up a number of support initiatives which have made a real difference to businesses – particularly small and medium-sized companies.
We worked closely with our partners, including the LEP, district and borough colleagues and national government to ensure people and businesses could access this support immediately.
The latest national support scheme will complement the support package we have put in place and we want our communities to be assured that we will continue this work in the months and years ahead.”
LEP chairman Alun Rogers said:
Since the pandemic began we knew it was essential to put in place every support initiative we could and have worked successfully with our partners to ensure this happened. It has been vital that businesses and employees know where to go to access this support.
The Job Retention Scheme has been a huge success, but it ends in October, so it was important that the Government acted now to bring in this new scheme, which begins on November 1.
There are a range of local and national support schemes, tailored to the needs of individuals and businesses. It’s essential that they know where to go and our Growth Hub team is the first port of call so they can be advised and signposted to the support they need.
Partnership working has never been as important as now. Together we will maintain our focus on improving people’s skills and supporting employers to create jobs, particularly in our key sectors of research and development, tech-digital, manufacturing and logistics. This will help us continue our drive for a green economic recovery in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.”