On the journey to recovery

Boris Johnson has unveiled his roadmap to getting the country and the economy out of lockdown. It promises to be a slow, but hopefully steady and successful journey.

And by the time you read this, chancellor Rishi Sunak will have delivered one of the most crucial Budgets in modern times.

That will have given some indication of the path he believes we need to take to rebuild the economy post-pandemic – and what support has been made available for businesses as we look to take on that building work.

It would have been good to have been talking about business rates reform as part of this overall recovery plan.

However, the final report of the government’s review of the system will now not be published in the Autumn.

The Treasury says the latest in a series of delays is to ensure the publication takes place when there is “more economic certainty”.

An interim report, which will include a summary of consultation responses, will be released at the end of this month and we await that with interest.

The government can’t keep kicking this particular can down the road

One thing is sure, the government can’t keep kicking this particular can down the road. Decisions are already well overdue.

Retail sector experts are warning that reform is vital and without high streets and town centres will struggle to recover from the pandemic.

The next few months will be vitally important for Lancashire businesses in all sectors as the county looks to ‘build back better’.

We will all be looking for signs of growth, finding positives where we can – and as we always do in this part of the world - offering each other support and encouragement.

We will also be looking for signs that the government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda is more than a soundbite but a genuine commitment, backed by solid action.

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