Restart Phase brings both hope and concern

Wed, June 10th, 2020

Paul Cherpeau, Chief Executive of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce...

Last night’s announcement that Chester Zoo and Knowsley Safari Park will be able to open next week is the latest indication that the reopening and restarting of our economy is beginning to dawn. Coupled with the impending reopening of non-essential retail on Monday it signals that a return to some sort of normality may be on the horizon.

Yet whilst the latest stage of reopening is welcome, considerable challenges remain.

The public health threat, whilst improving, continues to be high. In response, businesses are introducing substantial changes to working practices to protect their people and customers and our guide, produced with the Liverpool BID Company and Professional Liverpool is essential reading.

Our schools remain closed to the vast majority of children. Both the immediate and the longer term impact upon working parents and guardians, employers and of course the children themselves throws up significant challenges. It is hard to envisage a true restart of our economy without a safe reopening of schools to a wider student cohort – let us hope that this can be accomplished soon.

The reopening of shops, attractions and businesses next week signals the beginning of the restart and recovery phase but we should not under estimate the challenges to come. The profound shock of this outbreak upon our economy will not be solved anytime soon and the impact on employment levels when the Job Retention scheme ends is deeply concerning. It is imperative that our city region gets on the front foot with a strong and purposeful recovery plan and that our businesses are supported to the maximum to sustain, withstand and ultimately prosper through this crucial period.

We look forward to working with member businesses over the coming weeks to contribute the critically important voice of business into those economic recovery plans in development by the Liverpool City Region, Local Authority and National Government.

Our main purpose continues to be to provide businesses with support, insight, intelligence and services that are needed to enable a positive outcome through this restart phase including celebrating what our members themselves are doing to support both their own businesses as well as their peers.

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