Rbble Valley MP's call for more help for businesses hit by latest COVID curbs
Deputy Speaker for the House of Commons, and MP for the Ribble Valley, Mr Nigel Evans is calling for greater support for businesses, particularly those in the hospitality sector, during this difficult period.
With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme coming to a close on October 31st, along with growing restrictions, Tory MP Mr Evans is calling for further support over the winter months, as restrictions grow due to COVID-19.
As all industries face tough months ahead, the hospitality industry could be one of the worst affected. With businesses having to close from 10pm, only allow table service, groups of six or fewer and ensure social distancing is observed.
In 2018, hospitality in the UK employed 3.2 million people, representing 10% of the UK’s employment and producing £130 billion of economic activity. The North West of England accounted for 11% of this industry in the UK. Mr Evans is therefore calling for crucial support for all businesses, in particular the hospitality sector, which is being hit with increased restrictions.
He said: "The Ribble Valley has a large hospitality sector, which has yet to recover from the effects of the first lockdown. The further restrictions on pubs and restaurants limit trading hours and income, I am calling on the Government to ensure more support is given to the businesses impacted by the restrictions.
“I know the curfew now in place will be a huge disappointment to many businesses across the Ribble Valley. By removing a key trading hour from pubs and restaurants, alongside the falling consumer confidence, and reduced capacity, many jobs and businesses are at risk. The Government need to offer more support for businesses as we enter the winter months.
"Infections rates in the Ribble Valley are currently at a weekly rate of 243 per 100,000 people, compared to a national average of 68. The restrictions in place because of this infection rate are limiting the trading ability of the hospitality industry significantly.
He continued: “Residents of the Ribble Valley have stuck to the Government guidance throughout the pandemic and I know they will continue to do so. The restrictions will inevitably reduce business income, until the infection rate falls.
"More support for businesses in the Ribble Valley and the rest of the UK is needed, to ensure employment and income is protected in the coming months."