A senior lawyer in the North East has drawn together suggestions from regional businesses which he says could help boost the economy as firms aim to recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Ian Gilthorpe, senior partner at Newcasle’s Square One Law, has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak with 14 suggestions raised during sessions his firm has been running with companies in the region.
The suggested measures – which aim to feed into an expected ‘mini Budget’ from the Chancellor in July – include the introduction of some tax reliefs, the inclusion of local content requirments on major infrastructure projects and the creation of new enterprise zones.
Mr Gilthorpe’s letter says that many businesses will fail during the bounce-back from the coronavirus shutdown due to levels of debt accrued in trying to stay in business.
And he has become the latest person to remind the Chancellor that the Government’s “levelling up” agenda is most urgently needed in regions like the North East.
Mr Gilthorpe said: “Our unique relationship with hundreds of businesses, through our executive fellowship initiative and of Covid-19 business response support group, has given us real insight into the needs of business at this critical time in the economic life of Britain.
“Interestingly, we are talking to a wide range of size and sector businesses and we had a great many excellent ideas which we have distilled down into 14 key measures.
“When people talk about managing the ‘second wave’ of the pandemic, they should really be examining measures to tackle the massive economic danger we will face without further speedy and innovative Government action.
“The ideas we have sent to the chancellor are practical measures that would help businesses to generate the cash they need to survive, stimulate the economy by returning to the ‘levelling up’ agenda, and provide tax incentives for investment to continue at the pace and scale needed for a lasting recovery.”
Mr Gilthorpe said that the suggestions made to the Chancellor came from sessions Square One Law held with 200 business leaders, plus conversations with another 1,800 on what they want the Government to do next.
Square One Law has offices in Newcastle and Stockton, and this year opened a site in Leeds.