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My July update...

Fantastic to be out and about in South West Norfolk visiting businesses and constituents. From the zoo to the pub – many are open again with new safety measures in place so you can have confidence to shop, dine and visit.I am delighted that up to 425 local hospitality, accommodation and attractions could stand to benefit from the new VAT cuts announced by the Chancellor. Read on for more details.

My website has all the latest government guidance- including trade updates, details of all new schemes and what I have been up to:
As ever - please do not hesitate to contact me and my office if you need any help or assistance:

A Plan for Jobs 2020

The Chancellor has announced new measures of the Government's Coronavirus recovery strategy. Details here
A plan for jobs is about: supporting people to find the jobs that are out there, creating new jobs
through investing in our infrastructure and housing, and finally protecting jobs by revitalising the
hard hit sectors upon which many jobs depend.

Included in the Government’s £30 billion Plan for Jobs:

  •  A temporary cut in VAT for the tourism and hospitality sectors, to give a much-needed boost to some of the industries hardest hit by coronavirus.
  • A new Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, giving people up to 50 per cent off meals out at restaurants, pubs and cafes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.
  • The temporary removal of stamp duty on all homes under £500,000 until the end of March 2021, to catalyse the housing market.
  • A new Kickstart Scheme, which will create hundreds of thousands of new, fully-subsidised jobs for young people.

On top of the VAT cut that could benefit up to 425 local hospitality, accommodation and attraction businesses, - the landmark ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ means money off your meal out in up to 210 venues in South West Norfolk in August.

Brilliant news for towns and villages as they are busy getting shops and businesses up and running- building confidence and helping to keep people safe.


Over the past few weeks my office has been helping businesses with a range of support options. Details of all the packages available can be found here:

The Government has worked non-stop to make sure the UK is protected both in terms of health and financial well-being. The furlough scheme alone has protected over 11,500 jobs in South West Norfolk and 3900 self-employed people are benefiting from £11.5 million of support. Government grants supporting businesses have been distributed across Breckland and West Norfolk to the tune of £65 million.

You can use this Government portal to see what support schemes you may be eligible for.

Banham Zoo Delighted to support Banham Zoo with their re-opening; 1700 visitors were booked in for the first official day and with additional measures in place across the whole site, visitors can safely enjoy a socially distanced day out.Thanks for having me!

Downham Market I have been working with Downham market traders and the Town Council to ensure the market can be fully operational again - we all want to see a vibrant and thriving market in the town centre.

Thetford I joined Breckland Cllr Leader Sam Chapman-Allen and Mayor of Thetford, Mark Robinson in Thetford. There was a definite buzz in the town with ‘shop and eat with confidence’ very much the motto; hand sanitisers stations strategically located, additional outside seating provided and street hosts offering support, the message being ‘we are open for business’. Swaffham and Downham Market were also drawing in the shoppers and I noted that the barbers were proving extremely popular!

Downham Tandoori Fantastic meal at the reopened Downham Tandoori Restaurant earlier this month. Every business has had to adapt to a new way of operating, particularly the hospitality industry. During shutdown, as well as providing takeaways, Anwar and his team have also been preparing hundreds of appreciation meals for staff in local hospital and surgeries. 

Dents of Hilgay I've been stocking up on some great local produce at Dents of Hilgay. They are open for business. 

Farming and Agriculture

Food Standards I have been clear. We will not lower our food standards in trade agreements.When we leave the EU, we are maintaining the same import standards. No UK import standards will be diminished as part of an FTA. We will also not undermine our high domestic environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety standards by ensuring in any agreement UK farmers are always able to compete. . 

Trade and Agriculture Commission Last month I held discussions with South West Norfolk farmers about food standards and animal welfare. Working with the NFU, the new Trade and Agriculture Commission will ensure the UK maintains its high standards and we can seize the fantastic global opportunities for UK farming. I am very pleased that on 28th July we formally launched the Trade and Agriculture Commission. Stepping up our engagement to ensure UK farmers and consumers are at the heart of our trade policy.


As International Trade Secretary I am focused on keeping trade routes open and striking new trade deals. Overseas markets will be even more important for the UK as we recover from Covid and I am currently negotiating new trading arrangements with Japan, Australia, US and New Zealand. This region already exports barley, pork and other great produce - new deals mean new opportunities.

The Trade Bill was approved by the House of Commons earlier this month: UK businesses will benefit from:

  • continued trading under trade agreements we’ve rolled over
  • access to £1.3 trillion of overseas government contract
  • protection from unfair trade practices

It is important to understand- our manifesto is absolutely clear that:

  • In any trade negotiations, the NHS will NOT be on the table.
  • The price the NHS pays for drugs will NOT be on the table.
  • The services the NHS provides will NOT be on the table.

Where you can find help and further information

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership is also providing support for local businesses, email or telephone 0300 333 6536 (Mon- Fri 9am-5pm)