Business chiefs' concern over new Government guidance for Lancashire
Government advice asking people to restrict their movements into and out of Lancashire due to rises in Covid numbers casts a shadow over full easing of restrictions on June 21 across the county, the Federation of Small Businesses has warned.
The Blackpool-headquartered business lobby group said today’s new message to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid meeting indoors would impact negatively on many businesses at a time when they are desperate to start improving their incomes.
It would almost certainly deter some businesses from reopening on June 21 with the rest of the country.
Paul Foster, FSB Development Manager for Lancashire said: “This announcement will be a concern for many smaller Lancashire businesses, particularly those who rely on customers coming to their premises.
"While not forcing businesses to shut, this guidance encourages people to avoid travel and avoid meeting indoors.
"For many this will reduce footfall and income at the worst possible time. Unlike the actual lockdown there seems to be no financial support to compensate these businesses for this likely loss of trade.”
Mr Foster continued: “FSB is also concerned that this announcement has no timescales attached to it, meaning that businesses don’t know if they can plan ahead for this to last for days or weeks to come, at a time when many are trying to bring staff back from furlough.”
“We urge small businesses to continue operating safely as they have whenever they have been allowed to open, but no doubt some will be wondering what this will do to their customer numbers and will be doing the maths on their viability under this guidance.”
“Government needs to recognise the economic impact this will have and ensure that we don’t damage our fragile recovery locally which has barely got started.”