A Lancashire business leader has said the Government must ensure continues to support those hardest hit by the continuing lockdown restrictions.
Norman Tenray, Chief Executive of OBAS UK, the Longridge-based construction group, said it was right Treasury contributions to the furlough scheme would be reduced gradually, but warned against “pulling the rug” from under some sectors.
He said there would continue to be reduced capacity and demand in some sectors of the economy which would mean “new and additional support” would be required.
OBAS UK is sponsoring the Small Business of the Year category at the Be Inspired Business Awards, The BIBAs, one of Lancashire’s leading business awards.
Mr Tenray, a former President of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is great the Chancellor has listened to business and announced a gradual reduction in the furlough scheme, but there are still a large number of businesses which are hurting badly.
“We cannot expect the Treasury to subsidise business to a greater extent indefinitely, however, we need to recognise that new and additional support will be needed for certain businesses in certain sectors of our economy.
“There will continue to be businesses and staff who are unable to get back to work for an extended period and we need to be careful not to pull the rug out from underneath them.”
The BIBAs has delayed its application window by three months until the end of July and put its awards ceremony back to December following the introduction of restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The awards’ organisers, the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said it is keeping a close eye on the latest guidance around social distancing as it prepares to host the event which would normally attract an audience of more than 1,000 people.
Chief Executive Babs Murphy said: “Our first priority is the safety of everyone which includes our applicants, our judges, our suppliers, all those who are involved in The BIBAs.
“We are constantly monitoring the latest advice from the Government and we will ensure that all measures are in place to keep everyone safe.”
For all the latest from The BIBAs, follow the awards’ official Twitter account at @BIBAs2020.