Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced a new £4.6 billion package of measures to help businesses through the latest lockdown, including grants of up to £9,000 to keep some firms afloat.

Richard Sheehan, chief executive of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Naturally, we welcome these latest support measures – but it is important to recognise that they are only part of the solution.

“Immediate cash flow support is not going to be enough to save many businesses in Shropshire, which are facing the impossible task of trying to plan ahead, with no idea what the longer-term future holds.

“We endorse the British Chambers of Commerce call for a clear business support package to cover the whole of 2021, not just another incremental intervention.

“The Government must move away from this drip-feed approach and set out a long-term plan that allows all Shropshire businesses, whatever their shape, size or sector, to plan, and ultimately survive.”

Mr Sheehan said it was important to acknowledge that there will be many smaller firms in Shropshire which will not qualify for the full headline amounts set out by the Chancellor today.

As a result, he said they would be left struggling to see how this new top-up grant will help them out of their immediate cashflow problems.

“Support must be sufficient to cover not just those on the front line of retail, hospitality and leisure, but also firms in supply chains and wider business communities who are also feeling the devastating impacts of these restrictions.”