A letter from Cllr Sam Webster to Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
I am writing to you regarding the welcome easing of Covid-19 restrictions on the opening of businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors due to take effect on 15th June.
While the ability to resume trading will come as a great relief to many in the retail, leisure and hospitality community who have endured weeks of inactivity, can I strongly urge you to continue to support these businesses over the coming months, for example, through the introduction of a recovery grants.
As I’m sure you are aware, concerns exist in the retail, leisure and hospitality community that the costs of the substantial social distancing requirements and potential reluctance of shoppers to return in sufficient numbers will put huge financial pressures on many independent businesses – particularly smaller ones – threating their ability to continue to trade profitably. Retail and hospitality outlets having to close their doors would have a knock-on effect for surrounding businesses and the more that close, the worse the situation would get.
In addition, the numbers of redundancies would rise placing growing pressures on the jobs market and local economy.
Small businesses are at the heart of our city retail economy but they need continued Government support to be able to recover and thrive over the coming months of uncertainty.
The impact of lower footfall and social distancing risks a spiral of decline as the number of empty shops and outlets grows. We all want to do our best to prevent this happening but we need the Government to provide the ongoing financial support required to help keep these businesses viable in the coming months.
On behalf of our local independent traders in Nottingham I’d urge the Government to introduce recovery grants to allow businesses to survive.
I look forward to hearing from you
Councillor Sam Webster