Saluting our business heroes

It wasn’t so long ago that the Prime Minister, before he was Prime Minister, was reportedly using a four-letter word to describe what he thought of business.

Well, nobody in the world of politics is saying that now. If the pandemic has highlighted anything it is how important business, small, medium and large, is to the country.

An incredible effort has been led by ‘Corporate Britain’ through this unprecedented crisis, with private sector initiatives being launched on a daily basis by entrepreneurs, business owners and their teams to alleviate some of the harsher challenges of the coronavirus crisis.

Of course, there are exceptions, and it is to be hoped that those firms who dragged their feet protecting staff or banks who are proving slow to lend to those in need, will pay a heavy price when we get through this thing.

But, by and large, the world of commerce has proved that when the going gets tough they step up to the plate and do what they can to help.

It must also be said that the government has, by and large, reciprocated in returning the favour and offering support to business in ways previously we would have thought impossible: tax holidays, grants, picking-up of salaries and a host of other offers.

The government has offered support to business in ways previously we would have thought impossible

Inevitably some have fallen through this support net. The self-employed, rightly, feel hard done by. Nonetheless, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has done a sterling job in doing what he can to ensure that post-Covid-19 the economy has a fair to middling chance of bouncing back.

It will have to, because we are about to see eye watering numbers that make previous recessions look like a cakewalk. Nonetheless, this situation is like no other, and if politicians and business hold their collective nerve then there is reason for optimism.

Some economists are predicting a significant spike following the slump and although some companies will be reluctant to invest in growth plans, we know from the experience of 2008 that it is those firms who demonstrate an entrepreneurial flair, courage and positive vision who not only survive but thrive during a downturn.

We can do so in the knowledge that we now have political leaders who are fully aware of our value.

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