29th October 2020

Following confirmation of the areas and tier levels as set out in the Scottish Government’s strategic framework for managing the coronavirus crisis, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“As a result of the continued growth of COVID-19 cases, businesses, our employees and their families have now been informed as to what level of restrictions will be placed on us through the introduction of the Scottish Government’s tier system for local authorities.

“Whilst the First Minister did not announce a full national lockdown, the majority of Scotland has been designated within Level 3This will have an immediate impact on businesses confidence and survival.

“In addition, the consequences of imposing additional travel restrictions between areas and levels will result in decreased tourism, also impacting on retailing and hospitality. The effects of this in town centres and for out-of-town retail centres in the key pre-Christmas period must not be underestimated.

“It is critical that Government commit to demonstrating effective working by listening and engaging with the business community, understanding our concerns and collectively identifying solutions which could reduce the growth of the virus, whilst enabling businesses to trade and keep our employees.

“To help all of us to understand how we are progressing, it is essential that the tiered system provides a greater level of detail and transparency, indicating the criteria and trigger points when areas move from one stage to another.

“The First Minister’s plans for weekly and daily reviews are welcome, and business want to be at the table to help understand and inform the review process and decisions which effect all of us. This will help to build business confidence on the necessity and the efficacy of these continued restrictions, enabling all of us to be working towards the same goals – saving lives and livelihoods.

“Support to all businesses in all sectors effected by these restrictions needs to increase substantially. Job support is helpful – but we need to seriously increase the level of support on offer and the speed at which it is being provided.’’

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