Support for business must continue as 'freedom day' is delayed

Ian Mean
Director of Business West Gloucestershire | Business West
14th June 2021

Business, and especially the hospitality sector was expecting that the unlocking would be delayed until early July.

But what we were not expecting is that the delay - until 19 July - would be as much as a month.

Steve Gardner Collins, director of Visit Gloucestershire said:

“I think this is the end for many of our hospitality businesses - the wedding industry can’t afford to pay their rents beyond the end of June.

“Enough is enough for many of them now.

“I think we are all being strung along. I cannot see why the furlough scheme is not going to be extended beyond the autumn/winter.

“I think we have reached the stage in our hospitality businesses that for those who have survived up until now this is the final nail in the coffin.”

Asked if 19 July was a date that could be reversed, Boris Johnson told the press conference: “I am confident that 19 July is a terminal date”.

That will still not provide confidence to the hospitality sector who will now be asking for more financial support to take them through this period.

But last night all the indications are that the furlough scheme which is keeping so many hospitality businesses from closure may not be extended beyond September.

Boris Johnson indicated that, but I think there is bound to be huge pressure to extend furlough and special payments to the hospitality and entertainment sector.

And the picture was not any brighter when the Prime Minister told us that we: “cannot simply eliminate Covid-we must learn to live with it.”

A gloomy outlook for many hospitality businesses who already feel they are on death row.

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