Leicester business leader urges companies to ‘hold their nerve’

A local entrepreneur and business leader is urging Leicester businesses to “hold their nerve” during their elongated lockdown period.

Tim Povall, from Loughborough, who has over 30 years of business experience ranging from leading a £250m global technology business to running his own £3m business – and who is also a local Vistage chair – says that the local economy remains “resilient” in the face of the new legislation.

He said: ““The added strain from the lockdown extension will test businesses in Leicester, however, now is the time for CEOs and owners to hold their nerve and remain positive. During the initial lockdown, many businesses very quickly found a way to continue operating safely, and there is no reason why that cannot be the case this time around.

“The local economy remains resilient and the businesses that are able to chart this difficult course will come back leaner, but thrive as demand picks up. Bosses do have important decisions to make regarding staffing levels and maintaining a healthy cashflow for the months ahead. However, it’s imperative to remain resolute on the long-term vision and survival of the business.

“It’s also important to note that there is ample support in the local business community in Leicester for business leaders who feel isolated or overwhelmed during this time. Take this time to build a support group and pick up key learnings that can help you and company succeed post-lockdown.”

Meanwhile, Leicester’s City Mayor is lobbying Government to provide more support to local businesses after it emerged the Government does not intend to provide extra financial support during the city’s extended lockdown.

Since the initial lockdown, Leicester City Council has supported more than 6,000 businesses with grants totalling £70m. But since the extended lockdown began – and despite strong representations to Government by the city council – no extra financial support has been committed.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This is very bad news. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, did promise us that the Government would support businesses in Leicester, but now they are saying they won’t. I sympathise entirely with businesses in Leicester which have to try and deal with this worry and uncertainty on a daily basis.

“We will be asking the Government to deliver on their earlier promises and provide our businesses with the support they so desperately need.

“In the meantime, though, we are determined to come up with our own solutions, and we will be putting these to Government.”