Yesterday, Whitehouse was delighted to host a roundtable of business leaders from a wide range of sectors to discuss economic disruption as Britain enters a new post-Covid and post-Brexit world. From aerosols to aviation and from digital banking to horticulture, myriad industries were represented and we were honoured to be joined by the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
Optimism for 2021
Kicking off the discussion, the group discussed reasons to be optimistic in 2021. This includes the success of the vaccine roll out which will not only allow a speedier economic recovery but has highlighted the UK as a powerhouse in science and logistics, able to solve real-world problems with practical solutions.
The Brexit deal was also mentioned, hailed as providing clarity after a five-year period of turmoil and uncertainty for British businesses.
Finally, the Net Zero agenda was cited as a reason for optimism for the year ahead – huge leaps have already been made and the government has a ten-point plan to go even further.
Priorities for business recovery
The group then discussed the long and short-term priorities for igniting economic recovery. Clearly, the short-term priority is to support businesses through the post-Covid recovery period. In the longer-term, a strategic business recovery is needed that accommodates long-term growth whilst also nurturing a culture of innovation and delivering on the Net Zero agenda.
Some of the other discussion points included:
- The value of ornamental horticulture to the UK
- How the government can streamline advice and support for small businesses
- Whether different parliamentary departments and devolved assemblies can develop a more joined up approach on business policies
- How the aviation industry can best take advantage of the opportunities presented by G7 and COP26
- What communication programmes can be created to help consumers learn more about different financial lending and loan options that are available
- How bricks-and-mortar SMEs can compete with bigger businesses in a world which has seen an acceleration in the digital trend over the past year
- How can businesses such as airports work collaboratively with the government to help progress their shared objectives
All agreed that this was an innovative and original event in which senior leaders from disparate industries were able to come together to share ideas and to discuss with the Secretary of State what else can be done to support the wider business community.
Chair of the Whitehouse Consultancy, Chris Whitehouse, said: “2020 was an extraordinary year with the impact Covid-19 has had on economic activity, business and employment – which is why we wanted to bring business leaders from a whole host of sectors together to create a truly unique network.
“The Secretary of State shared a real sense of hope for future economic recovery, and the success of this first event has led Whitehouse to create a specialist Disruption Centre working group to develop original research, discuss ideas and take a proactive look at the impact of economic disruption on the business community.”
For more information on Whitehouse’s Disruption Centre, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Whitehouse team are expert political consultants providing public relations and public affairs advice and political analysis to a wide range of clients, not only in the United Kingdom, but also across the Member States of the European Union and beyond. We work in a number of sectors including human rights and equalities. For more information, please contact our Chair, Chris Whitehouse, at email@example.com.