This week, Interflex MD Jim Griffin appeared on BBC1’s News at Six to make the case for British business as chancellor Rishi Sunak addressed the 2020 Conservative Party Conference. Jim’s comments come at a crucial moment for businesses across the UK as the government’s furlough scheme winds up while Covid-19 continues to spike, triggering new lockdown restrictions across vast swathes of the UK.


Help is needed now


Rishi Sunak used his conference speech to talk about a message of hope and to emphasise the government’s responsibility to ‘balance the books’ for future generations. However, during the report Jim Griffin brought the focus back to the very real issues being faced by business in the here and now by sending a clear message to the chancellor that business is in need of help immediately, not at some unspecified point in the future.


Resilience and recovery


The report by the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg, showcased Interflex’s diversification into PPE during the pandemic, proving that far from sitting back and waiting to be bailed out, Interflex employed a proactive and positive approach to the pandemic.

“The furlough scheme enabled us to pay staff as lockdown hit. We were then able to bring those employees out of furlough as we diversified from the manufacture of car parts into PPE,” explains Jim. “However, although we appreciated the help available and we didn’t underestimate the huge cost of giving that support, it is an unavoidable fact that far from being out of the woods, businesses across the UK are facing an uncertain winter as the virus continues to spike and new restrictions are imposed. The bottom line is UK businesses still need help.”


Overcoming obstacles


Jim’s comments to Laura Kuenssberg follow an interview she did with him in April when he talked on BBC1’s News at Six about the fact that although Interflex 2000 were ready, able and willing to manufacture much-needed PPE, government red tape at the time was preventing them from supplying it to the medical sector. This issue was eventually overcome alongside all the other pandemic-related hurdles the company was navigating, resulting in the creation of Pinnacle PPE which is now able to supply PPE to medical, retail, salon, hospitality and private settings.


What’s next for UK business?


As the lockdown restrictions caused by the second spike in Covid-19 cases continue, business owners across the UK are facing a tough and uncertain winter ahead.

“Like many businesses across the UK, we have fought hard not just to survive but to diversify in the face of Covid-19,” continues Jim. “It was for this reason that I felt it was so important to get the message out there on the national news that for UK business, now is the problem, not the middle of next year. I very much hope that the chancellor will listen to my appeal for British business and not waste all the work done to support us during the summer at this critical moment.”


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