Business and industry leaders, community members, political representatives and expert voices across the UK’s nations and regions will participate in conversations about the road to recovery from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic as part of an ambitious grassroots programme being launched by Lloyds Banking Group this summer.
As part of The Big Conversation: Helping Britain Recover, Lloyds Banking Group will run a series of virtual events, initially focusing on small and medium-sized businesses, bringing together local and regional voices to explore the best road to recovery for their region. The series, beginning in September, will consider the challenges, opportunities and critical areas of support needed to help rebuild businesses and communities and inform recommendations for public policy. Findings will be shared across the UK’s nations and regions later this year.
The need for local recovery
While all areas of the country have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, different parts of the UK will inevitably face different challenges in recovery. In a study commissioned by Lloyds Banking Group in partnership with YouGov, 72% of leaders of small and medium-sized business stated that they think it’s important that economic recovery plans should be tailored to the local needs of each region. Three quarters (75%) said that it’s important for recovery plans to be tailored to meet the unique needs of different business sizes, while more than eight in ten (81%) said that it’s important for government plans for economic recovery to be tailored to the unique needs of different sectors.
Convening expert voices
The Group will partner with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), whose representatives will bring the experiences of its 190,000 members to the events across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions. The Group is also proud to partner with the CBI on a new report focused on what’s needed to level up the English regions.
António Horta-Osório, CEO of Lloyds Banking Group, said: “The UK is starting to get back on its feet, but the difficult task of rebuilding businesses and the economy lies ahead.
“Our regions and nations have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic in different ways, and our knowledge of regions, sectors and businesses throughout the UK tells us that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. Lloyds Banking Group is here to help the UK weather this storm and, importantly, The Big Conversation: Helping Britain Recover will bring together key voices from across these regions, sectors and businesses to get to the heart of the issues that matter and encourage true collaboration along the road to recovery.”
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said: “If the UK is to truly build back better from the sharp hit the country has taken from COVID-19, then we must work from the ground up.
“Local communities have an integral part to play in how our villages, towns and cities recover, helping to ensure that opportunities for people can be both protected and created in the future. The Big Conversation: Helping Britain Recover from Lloyds Banking Group can provide that platform for local voices within communities to help get the economy back on its feet as soon as we can.”