Edinburgh's Covid recovery needs a 'champion' (and I should know I used to be one) – Steve Cardownie

Yesterday’s Evening News carried a story about a manifesto, drawn up by Edinburgh business representatives calling for an accelerated return to workplaces, support for struggling firms, a new business promotion body and a new branding strategy.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 12:30 pm
The appointment of a 'business champion' could help the council and businesses work together on Edinburgh's Covid recovery (Picture: Ian Georgeson)

Produced by the Edinburgh Business Resilience Group, the document also proposes more business support for culture and the arts and proposes the appointment of a “business champion” within the council leadership.

Last July the council took the decision to set up a “local champions network to provide a direct link between the council and businesses during the city’s ongoing recovery from the coronavirus pandemic”. This dedicated network was “set to involve individuals from local businesses, traders associations, community councils and other local groups to push forward policy proposals to help Edinburgh’s high streets".

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This would seem to deal with some of the manifesto’s aims although at first glance it would appear that it is advocating the promotion of a business recovery plan at the highest level, encompassing all forms of businesses that operate within the city and not just a few select sectors.

I am sure that the council will work in tandem with business representatives to secure the economic well-being and future of the city and the appointment of a “business champion” as suggested in the manifesto would be a step in the right direction.

The council has already appointed a number of champions who cover different aspects of city life and, as a former Festival and Events Champion, I can see the merit in adding to their number.

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