LOCAL business bosses have pressed a senior Scottish Government minister to help the area bounce back from the coronavirus crisis.

Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce hosted business and skills minister Jamie Hepburn for a a 'virtual roundtable' meeting to discuss the tough situation facing the local enterprise sector.

It gave an opportunity for local businesses to hear an update from him and share their own first-hand experiences and thoughts about the sustainable recovery of the economy.

The MSP addressed the difficulties faced by businesses in Inverclyde, given its status as one of the worst affected areas during the pandemic, and the steps taken by Scottish Government to support businesses throughout the crisis.

Mr Hepburn said: “I welcomed this opportunity to speak to Inverclyde businesses to explore how the Scottish Government can work collaboratively with them towards a sustainable economic recovery.

“I also received valuable insights into how the Covid-19 crisis has impacted on businesses in the area and got feedback on the support measures introduced in response."

Andrew Bowman, junior vice-president of ICC, chaired the discussion between Mr Hepburn and several Inverclyde-based businesses.

Succession Wealth, Diodes, WH Kirkwood’s, Home Fix Scotland, Ardgowan Distillery, ARB Growth, West College Scotland, Toast Promotions, Mind Mosaic and Belville Community Garden were all represented.

They raised concerns regarding investment in the local area, mental health in the workplace, home working and youth employment.

Andrew said: “It was fantastic to welcome the minister to ICC’s virtual roundtable and we appreciate both his time and enthusiasm in listening to feedback from Inverclyde businesses.

“The attendees made clear the current challenges that both businesses and the general public locally face in Inverclyde and this was a good opportunity to share these.

“Inverclyde Chamber continues to provide opportunities for businesses to have their voice heard at a national level and will continue to champion and advocate for our membership and the local business community.”

The Chamber described the meeting as 'productive and insightful' and said that Mr Hepburn pledged that the government would continue to provide critical business support throughout the recovery period and beyond.