Ahead of new Covid restrictions coming into effect, York’s Liberal Democrat councillors are highlighting the need for urgent support to hospitality businesses who will be hit the hardest over the coming holiday period.
The hospitality sector relies heavily on the peak Christmas season to offset the impact of the slower months in the new year. Many pubs and hospitality businesses are seeing unprecedented rates of booking cancellations for the festive period.
The sector has been dealt another hammer blow no prospect of support, as costumer confidence plummets, extra staffing costs are set to pile up for those venues requiring to operate the covid passports, new tax rises are set to come in the new year together with repayments of Covid loans, and ongoing supply chain disruption is causing cash flow problems.
Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, commented:
"This rushed announcement of more Covid restrictions without offering any new support for our hospitality sector is guaranteed to hit local businesses.
“The festive season in 2020 was a write off, with businesses losing their peak trading period completely as a result of public health regulations necessary to protect us all from the Covid pandemic. But at that time, there were at least business grant schemes, and additional funding schemes in place that Councils could allocate to this struggling sector.
“Now, just as many businesses were starting to recover, they are faced with another blow.
“Whilst public health must always remain our top priority, we must not underestimate the impact that this health crisis continues to have on businesses across the country and the city, who remain faced with ever increasing uncertainty.
“Enhanced restriction measures must be accompanied by comprehensive government support to minimise the damage to business and save the livelihoods of people across York.
"What is needed now is an emergency package to save those businesses on the brink. The Government needs to hear directly from hospitality businesses what is needed for them to stay afloat, and then act upon it."