Lancashire business leader's call for ongoing support for hardest hit business sectors

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A Lancashire business leader has said the Government must ensure continues to support those hardest hit by the continuing lockdown restrictions.

Norman Tenray, Chief Executive of OBAS UK, the Longridge-based construction group, said it was right Treasury contributions to the furlough scheme would be reduced gradually, but warned against “pulling the rug” from under some sectors.

He said there would continue to be reduced capacity and demand in some sectors of the economy which would mean “new and additional support” would be required.

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OBAS UK is sponsoring the Small Business of the Year category at the Be Inspired Business Awards, The BIBAs, one of Lancashire’s leading business awards.

Norman TenrayNorman Tenray
Norman Tenray

Mr Tenray, a former President of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is great the Chancellor has listened to business and announced a gradual reduction in the furlough scheme, but there are still a large number of businesses which are hurting badly.

“We cannot expect the Treasury to subsidise business to a greater extent indefinitely, however, we need to recognise that new and additional support will be needed for certain businesses in certain sectors of our economy.

“There will continue to be businesses and staff who are unable to get back to work for an extended period and we need to be careful not to pull the rug out from underneath them.”

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The BIBAs has delayed its application window by three months until the end of July and put its awards ceremony back to December following the introduction of restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The awards are organised by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.