Following the announcement that York is to be placed in the very high Tier 3 restrictions, Council Leader Keith Aspden has written to the Business Minister urging the Government to provide additional financial support to businesses in the hardest-hit sectors in the city.
York is proud to be the home of a wide range of hospitality, leisure and retail businesses, from historic wet pubs to world-class restaurants and hotels. Months of either closure or extremely tight restrictions on the sector have seen balance sheets reduced almost to breaking point. As York now faces new Tier 3 restrictions, many businesses are in urgent need of comprehensive financial support.
Cllr Aspden is calling on the Government to create a COVID Hospitality Recovery Fund, using the more than £2bn business rate relief repaid by major shopping chains, as well as to extend the Local Restrictions and Support Grants to those firms in the supply chains of the businesses forced to close.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Leader of the Council, commented:
“Throughout the pandemic City of York Council has had two main priorities, protecting the health of everyone in the city and supporting York’s businesses to help protect jobs and livelihoods. Whilst the business support provided by the Government thus far is undeniably welcome, many businesses and hundreds of jobs are at risk in the city if the Government fails to step up now.
“If we are to ensure that small firms survive the difficult period ahead compounded by Brexit, then it is vital that the Government takes action now to prevent a collapse of the businesses that are crucially the backbone of our economy.
“The effect of these policy decisions will be key to truly levelling up the economies of the North. Government must provide comprehensive support to minimise the damage to business and save the livelihoods of people across the city and the region.”