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Government support package for business is welcomed

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP), the county’s strategic economic body, has today warmly welcomed the summer statement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer and its support for the economy and businesses.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a £30 billion package to the House of Commons, which he described as a “plan for jobs” to protect, create and support employment.

These include:

  • Introducing a “kickstart” job creation scheme for young people with the government paying the wages of new young employees for six months. There will be an initial £2bn to fund hundreds of thousands of jobs with no cap on the number of places available;
  • Doubling work coaches in Jobcentres;
  • Apprenticeships will be supported by bonuses for companies;
  • Creating a £3bn funding pot for decarbonising housing and public buildings;
  • Temporarily increasing the threshold for stamp duty from £125,000 to £500,000 until March 31, 2021, to help reinvigorate the housing market;
  • Cutting VAT from the current rate of 20% to 5% for the next six months on food, accommodation and attractions. The cut lasts from today until January 12, 2021;
  • An “eat out to help out discount” to encourage consumers to spend at restaurants and cafes. Meals eaten at any participating businesses, from Mondays to Wednesdays in August, will be 50% off up to a maximum discount of £10 per head with businesses claiming the money back from Government.

Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The unique structure of Cumbria’s economy has meant that COVID-19 has been particularly challenging for our economy and businesses.

“I’m therefore very pleased to see the package of measures that are being introduced to support our businesses to recover from the impact of COVID-19 and get their businesses fully up and running again.”

Mrs Lappin also chairs Cumbria’s Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERGG), part of the county’s Local Resilience Forum structure responsible for developing Cumbria’s economic response to COVID-19.

She went on: “In particular, I welcome the initiatives to support our visitor economy, which has faced a very difficult time.

“It is also great to see the support that is being provided for young people, such as the Kickstart job creation scheme. They really are Our Future and we need to make sure that Cumbria continues to provide a viable career path for them.

“We can all play our part by taking advantage of the measures to support restaurants, takeaways, pubs and accommodation providers.

“Despite the difficulties of the last few months, Cumbria will recover because we have excellent businesses, organisations and people that will make sure that we do.”

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