Bid to pull together over credit crunch

AN ECONOMIC summit is to be held in Suffolk to help businesses during the credit crunch.Councils around the county are preparing to pull together and unite in adopting strategies to help out businesses and establish the best route forward to ensure Suffolk is not dragged down by the looming recession.

AN ECONOMIC summit is to be held in Suffolk to help businesses during the credit crunch.

Councils around the county are preparing to pull together and unite in adopting strategies to help out businesses and establish the best route forward to ensure Suffolk is not dragged down by the looming recession.

They will bring together the public, private and voluntary sectors and address issues faced by vulnerable groups and individuals. An “economic summit” is planned for December 4.

Jeremy Pembroke, leader of the county council, said: “Suffolk is blessed with a rich mix of successful small businesses of all descriptions.

“We have many award-winning local companies of which we must be both proud and protective. Clearly, it is vital that we all pull together to identify ways that we can help the local economy through these challenging times.

“I also have very real concerns that the most vulnerable individuals and groups in our communities may be amongst the worst affected by the recession.

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“The public, private and voluntary sectors need to come together to jointly seek the best possible way forward for the county.”

Nick Ridley, chairman of Babergh District Council's strategy committee, said: “Babergh welcomes this conference as it is already actively involved in providing financial and other assistance to organisations which help both families and businesses affected by the 'credit crunch'.

“This includes a £57,000 annual grant to Sudbury's CAB - with part of that specifically funding a debt advisor and an active role in the Suffolk Redundancy Network whose role is to provide advice and practical support to employees who are about to be made redundant.”

Forest Heath District Council will organise a Jobs Fair in January to help anyone facing redundancy.

In Ipswich, the borough council has received inquiries from national businesses who are considering moving to the area and there is evidence that some companies are expanding.

Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “We have strong links with the voluntary sector in Mid Suffolk, and our talks with them have shown that there are people in the community that are starting to struggle with the current economic climate. By acting together we can help our local communities and businesses to get through this.”

There is also support from St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Waveney District Council.

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