Wakefield Council supports local businesses

28/04/2020, PR-9386

​Wakefield Council has met with local businesses to see how it can continue to support them during and after the coronavirus outbreak.

A key topic discussed by local manufacturers was the ability to continue manufacturing essential products, whilst maintaining high levels of staff welfare.

Businesses suggested their processes are improving daily with productivity increasing to an acceptable level, given the national restrictions.

Businesses across all sectors were particularly impressed with how employees have responded to home working and the use of digital technology. Many businesses raised the benefits of home working, suggesting they would view such arrangements in a positive light in the future.

The general view from businesses at the meeting was that more improvements could be made to the Government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). Some businesses suggested that the process could be streamlined to ensure finance can be accessed more quickly by those in need and called upon the Government to encourage banks to support them with this.

Cllr Darren Byford
Cllr Darren Byford

​Cllr Darren Byford, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth, hosted the meeting. Cllr Byford said: "Wakefield Council's priority is to support the economy to recover once social distancing measures have been lifted.

"We have begun to discuss strategies on how to support the whole district following these unprecedented times. Our residents, businesses and third sector organisations are crucial in supporting Wakefield to recover quickly.

"The views of local businesses are invaluable to help us work with partners to ensure the economy recovers and residents have the skills businesses need to grow in the future."

The Council plans to continue to meet with business leaders to help support the district's economic recovery from the crisis.

The business leaders attending were chosen from a range of sectors including retail, hospitality, manufacturing, engineering, construction and business and professional services. Representatives from the Federation for Small Business, Wakefield First and the Chamber of Commerce were also in attendance.

Help is available for all businesses based within the Wakefield district. For more information on what support is available locally, visit www.wakefieldfirst.com or call 01924 306 630.