New group set up to support Hertfordshire’s economic recovery post Covid-19

Business leaders, academics and the county council are to form a new group to focus on economic recovery in Hertfordshire, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thursday, 18th June 2020, 12:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th June 2020, 12:12 pm

As a result of the pandemic it’s been estimated that economic output could decrease by 30 per cent in the first six months of 2020 across the UK. And unemployment could rise by as much as nine per cent.

Now businesses, the county council, the local enterprise partnership and the University of Hertfordshire have set up a new group, in a bid to co-ordinate the county’s economic recovery from – and future resilience to – Covid-19.

The Hertfordshire Economic Resilience Group will focus on issues as diverse as economic development, planning, infrastructure housing, transport, environment, public estates, public health, licensing, taxation and business support.

Hertfordshire County Council offices

And it was highlighted to a meeting of the county council’s cabinet on Monday (June 15), by executive member for resources and performance Cllr Ralph Sangster.

Outlining the council’s own commitment to jobs and businesses, in response to the pandemic, Cllr Sangster said: “Supporting the Hertfordshire economy and protecting jobs and businesses during lockdown has been a priority for this council.

“A new economic recovery cell has been established chaired by the council’s director of resources and representing all elements of the local economy.

“Its remit is to ensure that appropriate resources are focussed on ensuring economic growth is re-established in the county as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile councillors were told a survey by Hertfordshire LEP – based on 354 responses – suggests that the wholesale and retail sector has felt the most significant impact from the pandemic.

Cashflow, loss of income and possible closure are reported to be the over-riding concerns of more than 70 per cent of respondents.