A COVENTRY MP has vowed to support businesses in the city through the Coronavirus crisis – and beyond – to help the regional economy get back on its feet.
Zarah Sultana, the left-wing MP first elected for Coventry South in December’s election, was speaking on a Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce #PolicyHour call with companies from across the region and answered questions on a range of issues from housing through to further support for the events and exhibition sector.
The Labour MP said she was willing to act jointly with the Chamber where needed and would support efforts to secure greater support for specific business sectors as the process to restart the economy gets underway.
She said: “I see the determined work that the Chamber does as a voice for business and I will work with the organisation to ensure that our local economy works for all.
“If that means writing to the relevant Government minister or working with colleagues in other constituencies, then I will do whatever I can.
“We know that this has been an unprecedented crisis. It’s a public health crisis that has created an economic crisis. We are heading for a very deep recession and there are concerns that, due to the make up of our economy, the West Midlands region will be hit particularly hard.
“Out of the crisis, we need to create an economy that’s fit for the future – one that is green and sustainable – and I believe this region can help lead that. This is a city of innovation with great manufacturing skills and we can be at the heart of the long-term, green future for the automotive sector.
“I’m currently lobbying to secure an urgent debate on the automotive industry to ensure there is significant investment in the sector, which would benefit Coventry.”
David Penn, president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was a really good hour of discussion with Zarah Sultana and it was great to hear her support for the Chamber and business in Coventry and Warwickshire in general.
“I have no doubt we will take her up on the offer of working with us in the future because, in the space of just an hour, we heard a range of issues that face businesses day-to-day.
“From more support needed for the events and exhibitions sector through to the housing crisis and from the great difficulties in manufacturing through to the shortage of land for new commercial property in the region, there is a great deal for us to tackle head on.”
Sean Rose, policy officer at the Chamber, said: “Our #PolicyHour calls began at the start of lockdown and have proved to be a great way to speak directly to local leaders.
“It was great to hold an event with Zarah Sultana and, of course, great to have her support for business and the Chamber.”