Business West welcomes Tier changes but concerns remain for business health into the Christmas period

Author
Claire Ralph
Policy Manager | Business West
17th December 2020

From Saturday 19 December Bristol and North Somerset move from Tier 3 – Very High down to Tier 2 – High local restrictions as a sign that COVID-19 rates have receded in our region. This means that from the weekend only South Gloucestershire remains in Tier 3 across the West of England.

Whilst this is welcome news to beleaguered hospitality, leisure and other businesses within North Somerset and Bristol areas, especially in the critical pre-Christmas trading period we remain extremely concerned about the inadequacy of grant support for businesses struggling to endure trading conditions across the region. 

James Durie, Chief Executive of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and West of England Initiative at Business West comments:

“It is good news that the results of hard work by our communities have allowed two areas within the West of England to move into the Tier 2 restrictions alongside the wider region, including Bath and North East Somerset. Bristol and North Somerset are in fact the only areas in the country announced to be leaving Tier 3 today. However, with cases remaining high in South Gloucestershire the government is leaving this part of our region subject to the tightest restrictions. We know so many businesses across all of these parts of our region are desperately in need of further support from Government to enable them to survive through to the Spring. In our most recent business survey half of the businesses said the grants cover less than a quarter of their costs. November and December are the peak trading periods for many of these businesses and having their doors closed for so much of this period is devastating on their ability to trade. We are now asking MPs and central government to raise this level of support.”

For the support that is available now, applications will open from tomorrow (18 December) for businesses based in the West of England to apply for grants under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) scheme – we strongly encourage applications from all eligible businesses via the relevant council websites:

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