Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, was Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) guest speaker at its recent virtual roundtable event on Wednesday 29th July.
The intimate online event was an opportunity for local businesses to hear an update from the Minister but more importantly to share their own first-hand experiences and thoughts on moving forward to ensure the sustainable recovery of the economy.
In his opening remarks, Mr Hepburn addressed the difficulties faced by businesses in Inverclyde, given its status as one of the worst affected areas during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the steps already taken by Scottish Government to support businesses throughout the crisis.
The Minister continued to give an overview of the challenges faced by the Scottish Government in restarting the economy, referring to the newly established Advisory Group on Economic Recovery (AGER).
As part of the Scottish Chamber Network, ICC provided a summary report which was submitted to AGER back in June to give insight into the practical business solutions and economic policies Scottish and UK Government could implement in order to support business recovery to support Inverclyde businesses.
Reflecting on the various issues raised by Inverclyde Businesses, Mr Hepburn said:
“I welcomed this opportunity to speak to Inverclyde businesses to explore how the Scottish Government can work collaboratively with them towards a sustainable economic recovery.
“I also received valuable insights into how the Covid-19 crisis has impacted on businesses in the area and got feedback on the support measures introduced in response. I would like to thank everyone for taking part.”
Andrew Bowman, junior vice-president of ICC, chaired the discussion between Mr Hepburn and several Inverclyde-based businesses who raised concerns regarding investment in the local area, mental health in the workplace, home working and youth employment.
“It was fantastic to welcome the Minister to ICC’s virtual roundtable and we appreciate both his time and enthusiasm in listening to feedback from Inverclyde businesses.
“The attendees made clear the current challenges that both businesses and the general public locally face in Inverclyde and this was a good opportunity to share these.
“Inverclyde Chamber continues to provide opportunities for businesses to have their voice heard at a national level and will continue to champion and advocate for our membership and the local business community.”
Mr Hepburn closed the productive and insightful discussion by reiterating that the Scottish Government had played a central role in providing critical business support throughout the crisis which will continue throughout the recovery period and beyond.
Thank you to all of the businesses that joined the event including Succession Wealth, Diodes, WH Kirkwood’s, Home Fix Scotland, Ardgowan Distillery, ARB Growth, West College Scotland, Toast Promotions, Mind Mosaic and Belville Community Garden.