Campaign for Business 2021

2020 was a year of disruption on a scale that few people had experienced before. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was felt across people’s lives, businesses and whole communities.

The Chamber’s initial policy response to this, ‘The Way Forward’ was published in June 2020 and focused on the immediate issues affecting business and suggested some ways of moving forward out of the effects of the pandemic in a way that would offset the damage whilst introducing new and better ways to do business for the benefit of all.

At that time it was difficult to consider that nearly 12 months on we would in fact be facing even tougher health challenges on the back of a second spike in infections and that many of the measures put in place at the start of the crisis such as furlough would be running for some time to come, with many businesses still restricted in their ability to trade or be open.

However, that is exactly the situation we face in the early part of 2021 coupled with the added impacts created by the UK now having left and cut all ties with the EU.

There is one difference to this and previous lockdowns and that is the hope created by the development and rapid deployment of a Covid vaccine in the largest mass vaccination programme ever seen in this country. This coupled with the Recovery Roadmap now a central part of government policy, and the next few months and the way that businesses respond will be critical for the longer term future of the country.

Taking all this into account we have decided to refresh and reposition our original Campaign for Business themes from 12 months ago and update them to take into account the new reality of the world we live in and the challenges that we face.

Businesses faced significant problems before the pandemic and whilst the reaction to Covid has helped bring about rapid adoption and innovation of new technologies and ways of working it has also magnified and concentrated problem areas and issues too.

These issues are the ones that lay at the heart of the government's manifesto policy to level-up the country. Investment in people, places and jobs is needed if the UK is to grow back stronger more so now than when the government were elected in December 2019.

It is important therefore that we look to take a whole view approach to our campaign activity not a singular focus on the fallout from Covid. The campaigns we run have been put together from input by members and others over the course of 2020 and early 2021; they reflect where we are now and how we can tackle the immediate problems, the long-standing issues there before Covid, whilst building a stronger community for the future.

Our 2021 Campaign for Business themes are: