12 May 2020
BFM welcomes Chancellor’s new furlough plans
The British Furniture Manufacturers has welcomed the government’s new furlough scheme announcement.
The trade body says the extended scheme will help protect the sector’s investment in its workforce and prevent significant redundancies.
Nick Garratt, BFM’s MD said: “Over recent years shortage of skills has been one of the challenges our industry has faced and member companies have invested heavily in developing their workforces.
“Wages are one of the biggest costs for furniture manufacturers, so the introduction of the Job Retention Scheme was a lifeline to keep businesses afloat during this crisis.
“This latest announcement is very much welcomed because it avoids the looming cliff edge at the end of June
“Without this, companies would have been forced into significant redundancies.
“Ultimately this extension, and the recognition of the need for greater flexibility as consumer spending ramps up, will support business through a gradual start-up.”
In regular discussions with the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) - both directly and through the British Furniture Confederation - the BFM has pressed for more flexibility in the furlough scheme.
BFC and BFM are continuing to lobby Government on other matters including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the role of the banks, and business rates relief.
Details of the BFM’s work during the pandemic are available on the association’s Covid-19 online area http://bfm.org.uk/covid19.html
Nick added: “Matters continue unravelling day-by-day on the detail and we continue to offer daily bulletins, and the placing of material on our Covid-19 web area, to keep members informed.”
25 March 2020
BFM member appeal for information to share with Government
The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) is appealing to its members to get in touch with the key issues affecting their businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
The association has been directly approached by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for feedback on the key issues the industry faces.
In response, the BFM team is compiling the key points, to send over to the Government department and ensure the industry’s voice is reflected by as many members as possible.
Nick Garratt said: “It is crucially important that we reflect the voice of the British furniture industry to Government at this time.”
The BFM reports a huge surge in enquiries from members looking for advice and guidance on the situation.
In response, it is currently working to develop a new online hub, to provide a single point of reference to keep members up-to-speed with the latest developments relating to the industry.
Nick added: “We are seeing a huge surge in enquiries. BFM staff are fully operational and working to support members during this unprecedented situation.
“Our bulletins are being produced to a daily cycle, so members can keep up-to-date through that route, and the launch of the new online hub shortly will also provide a useful way of accessing the latest information.”