Statement from the Chamber regarding potential impact of lockdown

“We recognise the difficult balancing act that the Government has to both protect public health and keep the economy going, but more support and reassurance is needed right now for those businesses that are most exposed to the latest measures.  It’s clear that many hospitality sector operators have been affected by the cancellation of events, even though current rules did not call for that.  Other city centre businesses, such as retail, are also adversely affected by the reduced footfall as office staff have increased home working again.

“For hospitality, in particular, this is a crucial time.  Practical and targeted support measures are needed now, especially for hospitality and retail, and for other sectors if restrictions are again increased in the future.  For example, the VAT rate for hospitality and tourism should revert back to 5%; there should be 100% business rate relief for retailers; and additional grant funding should be made available locally on an as required basis.”

“If tighter restrictions are to follow, then furlough support should be reintroduced for the sectors most exposed, plus further support such as deferral of payments on loans or other debts.”

Mike Cartwright
WNY Policy & Representation

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