Here is Kelly Dunn, Managing Director of KD Recruitment, reaction to the governments announcement at the weekend.

“This second lockdown is going to be a huge challenge to those businesses that were already struggling because of the pandemic.  As a region, we need to work together to control the spread of the virus so that businesses can get through this in the longer term and our economic recovery gets back on track.

I am pleased to see that they have extended the furlough scheme, which will go a long way in helping those businesses that have been knocked back again by being forced to close or having their business directly affected and reduced as a result of the lockdown. However, they also need to look at supporting everyone else from the self employed to the small company directors so that we can all work towards a better future.

The government should also look at supporting businesses with their SSP, as this is vitaly important at the moment with so many contracting the virus or having to self isolate.

More businesses are equipped to be able to work from home this time around and the manufacturing businesses are all Covid secure which will not affect their production. So I don’t think that this lockdown will have as much of a negative effect on the region as the last one did, as we have already adapted to the changes already.

Many of the businesses I spoke to in the region were feeling optimistic about the last quarter of this year and looking ahead to 2021 with their recovery and recruitment plans. Speaking to them again today, this lockdown is not stopping those plans, it is merely pausing them for a moment, however, they are remaining optimistic as we know that going into 2021, there will more opportunities to fight covid with the prospect of the vaccine looming in the spring.

The chancellor should be looking at the support that we received earlier on in the year and re-evaluating this in a new package for the winter months as this virus is not going anywhere at the moment. If our local economy is to recover, then we all need to support local businesses by looking at a “take out to help out” scheme within the hospitality industry, along with shopping with our local fruit and veg and butchers etc.

As Christmas is just around the corner, we could all look to buy from those small independent retailers that have been forced to close as they are non essential shops”