Hundreds of Moray businesses, employing thousands of local people, have signed an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron calling on the Government to support the economy as it faces uncertainty over the future of the RAF.
A copy of the letter will also be given to Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey when he visits Moray today (Thursday) reinforcing the message that the Ministry of Defence and the Treasury must work together to make joined up defence and economic decisions for the area.
Moray task force, which grew earlier this month to include a broader community membership, committed at its last meeting to creating the letter for the local business community.
Moray Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses have shared it with their members. It directly calls on the Prime Minister to "listen to local concerns and instead of doing immeasurable damage, work with us to help Moray move forward in strength and with confidence to maximise the assets which make this a special part of the country to work and live."
Calum MacPherson of Moray task force said: "Businesses of all shapes and sizes from across the area have joined together to create this letter. We have seen responses from a wide range of sectors; retail, tourism; financial and business services; transport and construction; publishing and education. Some employ one or two staff, others hundreds of people, but they all share the same passion about protecting the area where they live and work.
"As well as sending the open letter with all the names to the Prime Minister we will also be providing Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey with a copy. We are delighted he is meeting with the Task Force and that we will have an opportunity to again highlight the disproportionate social and economic impact on Moray a double closure would have as compared to anywhere else in the UK."
One in five jobs is supported by the RAF in Moray. The bases between them provide 5,700 service and civilian jobs, and bring £158 million of wages to the region each year.