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BUSINESS REPORT POLICYMATTERS


The Chamber’s Policy Executive CHRISTOPHER JONES represents your views to the people who matter.


HOW WE ARE HELPING OUR MEMBERS


The coronavirus continues to provide one of the most challenging circumstances for businesses across Milton Keynes. The top priority rightly remains the welfare and health of everyone, however many firms are extremely concerned about the virus’ wider impact on costs and turnover. In March the Chamber opened our dedicated Coronavirus helpline, designed to assist members with any questions and to help navigate the numerous schemes set up by the government. We’ve had hundreds of enquiries which has enabled us to build up a comprehensive the Government’s support mechanisms are working. Where members have reported gaps in support, delays in accessing funds or problems in administration we have passed that information up to our Policy Team at the British Chamber of Commerce. This team regularly meets with ministers from the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy lobbying for changes and improvements for members based on what they are telling us. Because of the information we collate, we’ve pressed for and had a number of additions and upgrades to government measures including: • Extending the date that furloughed employees had to be on the payroll from 28 Feb to 19 March


‘THERE’S NOTHING MORE


SATISFYING IN MY JOB THAN HELPING A MEMBER’


• Extending the furlough scheme beyond May • Increasing flexibility to the furlough scheme as changes come into force in July • Suspending the rules on state aid eligibility • Support for mid-sized businesses not covered by the initial funding support • Protection for commercial tenants • Support for apprenticeships • The Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund for businesses not eligible for the Business Rates grant scheme


There’s nothing more satisfying in my job than helping a member obtain a grant they are entitled to or offer assistance which might make the difference between their company keeping afloat or going bankrupt.


It’s the perfect example of what the Representation arm of the Chamber is here to achieve. If you think I can help in any way, please


do let me know by ringing 01908 847820 or emailing policy@chambermk.co.uk.


I wish every member the very best during this difficult time.


6 inbusinessAUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2020


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