Published on: 30 April 2020
During today’s Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee hearing, British Marine is delighted that the challenges faced by the marine industry due to Covid-19 have been specifically raised.
Following British Marine’s lobbying work and personal conversations with Ms Nusrat Ghani MP, she posed a question to the BEIS Select Committee about the plight of the marine sector.
She mentioned, “following correspondence to the Committee from the Canal and River Trust on behalf of British Marine, who have been writing in. A lot of these businesses don’t pay business rates, they have moorings, summer is the only time of year they can make any money and they are anxious about either securing a grant or loan. Do you feel the marine sector is getting the attention it deserves, and what can be done to get them grants from local authorities?”
Adam Marshall, Director General at British Chambers of Commerce, responded that the marine sector is one of many where small businesses are facing a difficult and marginal time, with tourism so dependent on the summer season for income. He emphasised that flexibility is particularly important here, stating that if it is true that around a third of grant resources have not been used, these resources should be allowed for use by councils to help local communities and businesses. Martin McTague, National Vice Chair Policy and Advocacy, Federation of Small Businesses, followed on from
Marshall’s point about local councils and highlighted how some businesses have struggled to communicate with local authorities on accessing loans.
You can watch the video clip again from the BEIS session here.
British Marine would like to thank Ms Nusrat Ghani for bringing the marine industry into a larger focus at Government level. With awareness now being raised and having heard the responses from the BEIS representatives, British Marine plans to follow up further.