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Media comment: We must support businesses to thrive in the new normal

15 September 2020

Dear editor,

This morning’s news that almost 700,000 jobs have been lost since the start of the coronavirus lockdown marks yet another bleak milestone in our battle with the pandemic. While there have been some positive signs of recovery, we are far from being out of the woods. 

Many good businesses are still grappling with the aftermath of the country-wide lockdown – and if we are to emerge stronger from the pandemic, we must now shift from helping businesses to survive today to providing them with opportunities to thrive in the future. To this end, the Government must keep looking to the long-term by: 

  • adapting our education and training systems to ensure that we equip our workforce with the skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace, starting with changing the Apprenticeship Levy to an Apprenticeship and Skills Levy for all workers;
  • adapting the government’s support schemes such as the Job Retention Scheme, CBILS and Bounce Back Loans in a targeted way to support specific areas and sectors forced to close again or to operate with significant restrictions;
  • providing business with certainty by creating a clear, long-term recovery plan to help put the U.K. back on a sustainable, sound footing, and restore economic prosperity; and 
  • supporting SMEs to seize new opportunities, expand and grow notably through the creation of a Growth Accelerator scheme.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive – Management Accounting
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants