Interflex’s MD Jim Griffin appeared on BBC1 this month (October) to appeal for immediate government assistance as businesses across the UK are facing the winding down of government support at a time when Covid-19 infections are spiking again, resulting in new local restrictions.
Although Interflex 2000 provides noise, vibration and harshness solutions for the motor industry, the company and has also diversified into PPE production during the pandemic. In the news report, Jim was asked to comment on a report on BBC1’s News at Six about the chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s statement to the Conservative Party Conference.
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.
“The furlough scheme enabled us to pay staff as lockdown hit and using our own reserves of resilience and entrepreneurial spirit, we were able to bring those staff out of furlough as we diversified from the manufacture of car parts to PPE,” explains Jim Griffin. “However, although like many companies, 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 and despite their resilience, businesses across the UK are facing an uncertain winter as the virus continues to spike. The bottom line is business still needs help.”
Jim’s comments to the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg follow an interview she did with him back 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, the government red tape at the time was preventing them from supplying it to the medical sector.
“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. “This is why I feel it is so important to get the message out there that for UK business, now is the problem, not the middle of next year. I hope that the chancellor will listen to my appeal on behalf of British business and not waste all the work done to support us during the summer at this critical moment.”
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