21st December 2021

Commenting on the First Minister’s COVID-19 update, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“Businesses across Scotland have already lost millions of pounds in trade due to the return of restrictions and the confirmation that yet more restrictions will come into place from Boxing Day will be another hammer blow for employers and Scotland’s economy.

“Businesses across Scotland, who have been doing everything they can to keep their employees and customers safe, will be bitterly disappointed by these further restrictions. Some businesses and sectors will view this update as the equivalent of receiving a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking, further compounding the downturn in trade they have experienced in the crucial run up to the festive period.

“Businesses now urgently need to see the guidance and regulations that underpin this announcement to understand the full impact these changes will have on their capacity, how they operate and if they will even be able to open at all.

“The announcement of further additional financial support from the UK and Scottish Government for businesses today is welcome, however, it still does not go anywhere near far enough to compensating for the enormous financial losses firms are experiencing. January is beginning to look increasingly bleak for businesses and the prospect of an early return to economic growth in the New Year is now clearly at risk.

“It’s essential that the Scottish and UK Government do everything they can to get financial support out to businesses as quickly as possible and go further to ensure additional financial support is made available as a matter of urgency or the viability of more and more businesses will be put in the balance.

“The vaccination and booster programmes remain our best way back out of this crisis and again, both Governments need to work together to accelerate the rollout over the coming days and weeks to enable the removal of these additional restrictions at the earliest possible moment.”

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