11th January 2022
Commenting on the First Minister’s Covid-19 update, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:
“The lifting of restrictions on large outdoor events in Scotland will be welcomed by businesses and it also provides a much-needed boost to both business and consumer confidence.
“Thousands of businesses involved in the large supply chain that sits alongside the Scottish events industry have had to endure severe financial losses over what should have been one of the busiest times of the year, creating further uncertainty and holding back growth.
“Increased Covid-Certification spot checks will however continue to impact on businesses who require additional staff and resources to implement these Covid requirements and the Scottish Government should provide further financial support to businesses to help them off-set the impact of these ongoing economic deterrents.”
On retail, hospitality and the night-time economy:
“Businesses in the hospitality, retail and evening economy, as well as connected sectors, will find it incredibly disappointing that there will be no immediate further lifting of restrictions on them.
“The Scottish Government need to support all businesses by removing legal restrictions that limit capacity, depress profitability and makes it difficult for businesses to survive and grow. Business will be encouraged however that these remaining restrictions may finally be lifted from the 24th January.
“As we adjust to ‘living with Covid-19’ and the threat of new variants, it’s essential that the lifting of restrictions keep pace and that testing and vaccines take priority.
“In the meantime, businesses urgently need the financial support promised to them to be delivered as quickly as possible and additional financial support is made available should restrictions remain in place any longer.”
On home working:
“Offices are a vital part of our town and city centre economies and without the return of office worker footfall, businesses are continuing to suffer, leading to job losses and permanent closures.
“Businesses want to see consistency in the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the return of office working must be part of these plans. As restrictions continue to ease, we must as a matter of urgency see an end date put in place for the requirements around home working, to allow businesses to plan effectively for 2022.
“Many businesses have clearly demonstrated that office are safe environments and employers, in consultation with our employees, remain best placed to take decisions on safe office return and hybrid working plans, and it’s important that Government enable this again as urgently as possible.”