Boris Johnson's message to business: 'Stand by your employees as we will stand by you'
By James Young | 19th March 2020
The Chancellor will reveal further measures to help business beat coronavirus tomorrow (Friday, March 20) with Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging British companies to "stand by your employees as we will stand by you."
Today's coronavirus briefing at 10 Downing Street saw the PM take a tubthumping tone as he sought to thank the British people for the difficult moves they have made in recent days.
But urged businesses to stand by their staff, when asked about a 'rising rate of redundancies', promising the Government would 'stand by businesses'.
There were no major announcements as in previous days, although Boris Johnson did admit the government is ruling nothing out as to whether more stringent measures will be required.
Opening the briefing, the Prime Minister said: "I want to thank everyone for the huge efforts the country is making to comply with the advice we're giving.
"We are asking huge amounts and we can already see the impact it is having on the UK economy and great, great businesses.
"People will want to know how long we are expecting people to keep things up.
"I do think, we can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks and I am absolutely confident that we can send coronavirus packing - but only if we take the steps we have outlined."
Asked about whether the specific measures for business outlined by chancellor Rishi Sunak on Tuesday were enough, the PM said more information would be revealed tomorrow.
"It's vital that we follow the advice that we have made in the last few days. Please, please follow that advice scrupulously," Mr Johnson said.
"That combination of ruthless, determined and collective action that we are already seeing, we will succeed."
In a direct plea to businesses, he said. "Stand by your workers as we will stand by you, and you will hear more about that in the next day or so.
"A lot of businesses will get grants and I am all-too aware of their concerns.
"My message to business is stand by your employees as we wills stand by you and the workers of this country.
"This time will be different to 2008 [the financial crash]. We will look after the people who really suffer. We will look after the people."
Asked about the steps to tell people to stay away from bars and restaurants, but not force their closure, the PM praised the way the public had reacted.
He added: "On decisions about pubs, bars and restaurants. we are guided by the science and whether we think the advice we are giving is working.
"If people are staying away from places where they are transmitting disease, then we want to thank them and encourage to do likewise.
"If we do need to go further, we will consider it and rule nothing out."
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