CALLS have been made for funding to encourage potential economic recovery following the pandemic.
Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce recently held its virtual annual economic conference for more than 250 people.
They heard from speakers from across business and politics at a local, regional and national level.
Chamber chief executive Louise Bennett said it was vital to look to the future and give businesses the tools to build an economic recovery.
She said: “We need great leadership in government, leadership in our businesses, and leadership in our communities.
“We must all show strength as individuals and then, by working together and supporting the more vulnerable in our society, we in the private sector will re-boot this UK economy.
“The chamber is calling for a fund that can ‘bridge the gap’ for viable businesses between now and their recharged future because it is critical that, as businesses, we look to the future while learning from the challenges we have faced.
“To help us plan, we need thought leadership by our government and all political parties around how we stimulate business confidence and consumer confidence to generate spend and investment in our economy.”
The conference also heard from Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi.
He said: “We are not out of the woods yet. I have no doubt how hard the current situation is for businesses up and down the country and here in Coventry and Warwickshire.
“Many businesses were yet to see a meaningful recovery since the first round of restrictions were eased after the summer and I am sorry for the economic hardship this will cause. But the cost of inaction would be far higher.
“We must also look to the future at how we want to shape our recovery post this pandemic. There is broad acceptance that any resilient recovery must be led by businesses and the private sector. Any economy driven excessively by government spending is simply not sustainable in the long term.
“We have to empower businesses to lead the recovery. While government will continue to provide support when we return to the tiered system, there are other avenues where businesses can access help.
“My advice would be to make the most of the Chamber as we navigate through the difficult months ahead to more stable and normal times ahead.”