Solihull well placed for economic recovery after coronavirus measures, says council leader - The Solihull Observer

Solihull well placed for economic recovery after coronavirus measures, says council leader

Solihull Editorial 15th May, 2020 Updated: 15th May, 2020   0

SOLIHULL is well placed for economic recovery after the coronavirus measures, says its council leader.

Councillor Ian Courts said in a statement: “We shall be launching our Economic Recovery Action Plan.  We all know that the pandemic has had a massive impact on our people, our places and our local businesses.  Our plan must recognise the support that we can give to each, as well as focus on projects that can breathe life into our economy.

“So far we have pumped nearly £23million into 1,687 local companies, through business grants and offering rate relief.  We will continue to help businesses access any future finance initiatives from government, as well as any available regionally and locally.

“There is also the government’s furlough scheme, a lifeline to many businesses in the borough, which is now continuing until October. The self-employed are being offered help with the recently launched Self-Employment Income Support Scheme  which offers a grant worth 80 per cent  of their average monthly trading profits.

“I want the council to work with our local high street retailers and businesses to plan a way forward to re-build our local economy.  I know that it is only through a partnership approach that we can hope to recover our economic strength.

“We need to capture the benefits HS2 will bring to the borough, seize the opportunities at the Interchange station site at the UK Central Hub, as well as maximise opportunities from Coventry’s City of Culture 2021 and the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

“As a council we shall focus on the things we do well, like being able to leverage in national and regional funding and resources, to add value to what businesses can accomplish themselves.

“We need an economic recovery, but we also need a personal recovery. The human cost of the lockdown is enormous, with the tragedy of people losing loved ones, those losing their job or being furloughed and the stress we all feel, wondering what the future may bring.

“We must make sure any recovery is inclusive.  We will work hard to equip those individuals who have been affected by losing their job with the necessary skills and support, so they can benefit from the opportunities an economic recovery will bring. And recover we will.

“In Solihull we are well placed to plot a course out of the current situation.  The dynamism of the local economy, with its balance of manufacturing and services, alongside a highly qualified workforce, means we have a fantastic base to start our recovery from.

In addition to this challenge, we must not lose sight of the environment and climate change.  “We will continue to reduce carbon emissions, invest in the borough’s natural capital, plant trees and pursue the transformation of the borough’s economy.

“I know that we do not yet have all the answers, because we are not yet through this crisis, and will need to be patient, as we work through the coming challenges, but I remain confident in the borough’s ability to get back to work.”


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