Representatives from a broad range of business sectors have begun discussions with Orkney’s newly established Economic and Business Response and Recovery Group on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The group has been set up by Orkney Islands Council, Business Gateway Orkney and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which are working together to co-ordinate appropriate support for local businesses facing the economic effects of Covid-19.
The discussions to date have been with representatives of the farming, fisheries, aquaculture, food and drink, creative, tourism, renewables, finance/insurance and construction sectors, along with the Kirkwall BID and Stromness Community Business Forum.
This is only the start of the engagement, with more work planned including discussions with representatives of the third sector and transport and haulage companies.
Gavin Barr, OIC’s Executive Director of Development and Infrastructure, said: “It is already apparent that the pandemic has had an immediate impact across the business sectors and that considerable challenges lie ahead.
“The dialogue with the sector representatives has been positive, with the meetings providing an opportunity for all involved to highlight concerns and consider measures that may be required to address these.
“The substantial support schemes announced by the UK and Scottish Governments will have an important role to play in this – and the discussions we’re having will help identify any gaps there may be in the national assistance available to local businesses.
“A number of issues raised will now be subject of further dialogue with business representatives to plan and manage our community resources toward the best long term outcome for Orkney.”