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Just 1% of Suffolk businesses have signed Armed Forces Covenant

The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with Combat2Coffee to call on more businesses to sign the Armed Forces Covenant.

The local business body has joined us in making the call this Armed Forces Week after it was revealed less than 1% of businesses registered in the county are signatories.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise to ensure those who serve or have served in the armed forces – and their families – are treated fairly.

In total just 151 – or 0.48% – of the 30,945 businesses registered in Suffolk have signed up to it – even though it’s free.

The call comes as we launch our Beyond the Uniform campaign with England football legend Terry Butcher.

Our founder Nigel Seaman, a Royal Anglian veteran, said he would like to see more firms sign up.

He said: “The Armed Forces Covenant is all about ensuring we treat our armed forces community with the respect they deserve beyond the uniform.

“It is about extending that recognition further into professional life and showing fairness.

“So many veterans will have experienced difficulty in transitioning back to civilian life – whether it is mental health related or not – and it is important businesses understand that.

“Displaying the Armed Forces Covenant badge on your website or in your shop window sends a message to veterans like me that you care.”

There are two main pledges businesses must meet as signatories of the covenant.

The first is to ensure no-one in the armed forces community faces a disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services.

Signatories must also give special consideration, as appropriate, in cases that involve the injured and the bereaved.

Businesses are also free to create their own additional pledges when they sign.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce first signed the covenant in 2019.

John Dugmore, Chief Executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “At the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, we deeply value the contributions of the armed forces and their families to our business community.

“Signing the Armed Forces Covenant is a vital step in ensuring that these individuals are treated with the fairness and respect.

“We strongly encourage all local businesses to join us in supporting our veterans and their families by signing the covenant. It’s a simple yet powerful way to show that we care about their wellbeing and recognise their service.”

More information on the Armed Forces Covenant and how to sign up can be found at www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk.

Businesses can also contact us for advice on the covenant via hello@combat2coffee.co.uk.

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