We are more grateful than ever for the dedicated service of our doctors, nurses and all those in the NHS, and all other carers, who are working so hard on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who have lost loved ones in this pandemic.
Over recent weeks, it has been positive to see how the vast majority of local residents have followed the rules that have been set out to protect both public health and the NHS in these challenging times.
As the Prime Minister has explained, we are beginning to move on from the peak of the pandemic. At the time of writing, we do not know the plans to be announced on Sunday 10th May to ease lockdown restrictions, but it is clear that we will all need to go on playing our part to ensure that there is not a second coronavirus spike.
Coronavirus has created real challenges for many local businesses, employees and self-employed people. I have been actively working to provide support to them and address their concerns with Government ministers.
New Bounce Back loans for smaller businesses were recently announced, with a 100% Government guarantee and a simple application process. They are an important addition to the comprehensive support package that is available to businesses.
Through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Government is stepping in to help pay furloughed employees’ wages, while funding for the Small Business Support Grants continues to be distributed through Cheshire East Council. Support for the self-employed is also a priority and will be provided by the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme in the weeks ahead.
I will continue to do all that I can to assist with this important agenda and help strengthen the local economy going forward.