THE North East’s largest independent business organisation has set out clear steps the Government should take to ensure the country’s economy recovers as quickly as possible after the Covid-19 crisis.

North East England Chamber of Commerce has submitted analysis of the measures so far which have had mixed success but also makes a series of recommendations in the light of its members’ views.

The Chamber suggests one answer to help the North East economy get on its feet would be to follow the SSI recovery model which allowed redundant workers to get free re-training and upskilling. Funding to encourage people to start their own businesses was also successful with over 270 new ventures created.

James Ramsbotham, Chamber chief executive said: “It is extremely important that this Select Committee listens to the voice of North East business and what has worked to support our companies but also where help has fallen far short of what was intended. We cannot stress enough how urgent and imperative it is for our economy for Government to take heed of our constructive comments and act on them swiftly.”

In the Chamber report it states the important next steps for Government to take include the furlough scheme being extended so employers are supported financially to allow staff a phased return.

There is also the urgent need to support businesses with their cash flow once the lock down is eased. More businesses fail at the start of an upturn than a downturn so banks’ lending criteria for businesses may need to be more flexible than has previously been the case.

In the report the importance of strong trading relationships with the UK’s nearest neighbours is raised as it will become increasingly beneficial, as international travel is expected to be very restricted for some time to come.

The report has been sent to the Government’s Select Committee following its call for evidence on the response to Covid19.