Business group says 'Christmas cancelled' for hospitality sector in Nottinghamshire
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The East Midlands Chamber, which represents firms from across the area, said the announcement ‘heaped uncertainty on uncertainty’ for companies.
Scott Knowles, chief executive, said: “This will be hugely frustrating and devastating for many businesses in our region that have been placed into the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions, and comes as a further blow despite the relief of national lockdown coming to an end.
“It’s heaping uncertainty upon uncertainty, particularly for these sectors that have been hit hardest due to various restrictions since March this year.
“The festive period is hugely important to companies in sectors such as hospitality, which will be worst hit by restrictions forcing them to close other than for takeaways, and would usually help them build up cashflow during the quieter periods of January and February.
“This tier allocation sends out the message Christmas is effectively cancelled for this segment of the economy.
“Even with the welcome news of a vaccine on the horizon, the country can’t afford to just sit and wait it out.
“Going forward, it is essential the Government reviews its tier structure frequently and doesn’t delay in easing restrictions as cases drop because every week that businesses are forced to close has a significant impact.
This means it must also be prepared to offer additional targeted financial support where necessary.
“Westminster must be clear and timely in its communication on what the exit strategy is for these areas.
“Businesses have had enough of the purgatory stemming from the slapdash approach this has involved to date, and need to know well in advance when changes will take place so they can prepare for reopening.
“With Brexit drawing closer every day and a trade deal still some way off, firms are desperate for some certainty on how they will operate from January 2.”