16th November 2021
  • Almost a quarter of Scottish firms fear that further Covid-19 measures will have a severe financial impact on their business.
  • 65% of firms are against extension of the vaccine passport scheme to more hospitality and leisure venues, more home working, and a requirement that face coverings should be used in more settings.
  • Scottish Government ministers briefed on strength of opposition to further restrictions ahead of cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Almost a quarter of Scottish businesses are facing immediate financial peril should the Scottish Government extend Covid-19 restrictions today.

A snap poll of nearly 700 companies has revealed that many firms are struggling with existing measures – and that 24% face severe financial consequences if vaccine passports and home working measures are widened.

Ministers will meet today (Tuesday November 16th) to decide whether enhanced or new restrictions are required. Last night they were briefed on the scale of business opposition to such a move.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of firms polled by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network are opposed to more restrictions, with 45% already feeling that the measures currently in place are no longer justified.

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network have already written to the Scottish Government stating that it is essential that Scotland’s business community is fully consulted before any additional economic deterrents are introduced.

The survey of Chamber of Commerce business communities across Scotland was conducted last week after Deputy First Minister John Swinney indicated that the government was considering new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Trudy Morris, Chief Executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, said: “Any reintroduction of restrictions will act as a painful economic deterrent for businesses across the North Highlands. Businesses are already struggling with a range of issues including energy prices, staffing, and supply of materials, and we urge ministers not to take a massive step backwards in our economic recovery from the pandemic which would place thousands of firms and jobs at risk.

“It is critical that our economic recovery is not stifled as a result of further restrictions being implemented unnecessarily. Going backwards at this stage will put our recovery at risk, create further uncertainty and undermine consumer confidence.

“If restrictions are to be reintroduced under legislation, then companies will of course be forced to accept them, but Ministers must urgently outline the evidence for these decisions, detail what financial support the Scottish Government will make available to affected sectors and provide an end point to burdensome restrictions.

“We are also concerned that previous restrictions have been introduced at short notice, with guidance for businesses incomplete or incorrect, leading to more stress and hassle for business owners. For hospitality venues in particular, this is one of the busiest times of the year and we ask that Ministers give businesses plenty of time to prepare and implement any changes that are enforced.”

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