Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Chamber

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce believes companies – and their staff – will be “breathing a huge sigh of relief” after Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the furlough scheme to October.

Sunak has announced the Government will continue to support businesses with 80 per cent of funding for furloughed staff up to £2,500 through to the end of July but companies will contribute more from August onwards.

The scheme will also be altered to allow firms to bring staff back to work on a part-time furlough scheme.

Louse Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Many firms and their staff across our region will have breathed a huge sigh of relief when they heard this announcement, as they were facing a financial cliff edge at the end of June.


“The Job Retention Scheme has been one of the most successful and widely-adopted elements of Government support since the Coronavirus outbreak and has undoubtedly saved many businesses and prevented a much larger number of job losses.

“Of course, businesses are still facing the most difficult challenge to hit our economy in our lifetime – and as a country, we will have to pay back this money at some point – but this will give them further breathing space as we begin to ease back to business over the coming weeks and months.

“As ever, with so much support available and so many updates over recent days, we’d urge firms to get in touch with us if they need help in accessing or understanding what is available.”

British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall said: “The extension of the Job Retention Scheme will come as a huge help and a huge relief for businesses across the UK.

“The Chancellor is once again listening to what we’ve been saying, and the changes planned will help businesses bring their people back to work through the introduction of a part-time furlough scheme. We will engage with the Treasury and HMRC on the detail to ensure that this gives companies the flexibility they need to reopen safely.

“Our research shows that the scheme has become a key part of wider government support for businesses, with more than 70 per cent of firms surveyed furloughing a portion of their staff.

“Over the coming months, the government should continue to listen to business and evolve the scheme in line with what’s happening on the ground. Further support may yet be needed for companies who are unable to operate for an extended period, or those who face reduced capacity or demand due to ongoing restrictions.”

For more information on the support available to businesses contact the Chamber on 024 7665 4321.