York’s shops, pubs and restaurants at ‘critical point’ and survival ‘now in doubt’

25 Jan 2021 @ 4.47 pm
| News

York’s shop and hospitality sectors are in a critical state, putting their survival in doubt and 10,000 jobs at risk.

That’s the hard hitting message from city leaders to Rishi Sunak tonight, as they urge the chancellor to extend financial support to save these crucial industries.

A letter, co-signed by Make It York chairman Make It York, council leader Keith Aspden, York BID executive director Andrew Lowson and more says: “We are writing on behalf of the hospitality and retail sectors in York, including hotels, pubs, shops, restaurants and other leisure venues.

“While we are very appreciative of the support government has provided to our sectors, most recently through the one-off grants of up to £9,000, we believe the industry, together with its extensive supply chain, has reached such a critical point that its survival in any recognisable form is now in doubt.

“In York alone, hundreds of businesses, all previously going concerns, and 10,000 jobs are at immediate risk of being lost unless decisive action is taken now.”

‘More must be done’

Greg Dyke, and Stonegate in the latest lockdown

The letter calls  for a coordinated, comprehensive package of support for the sectors – including

  • maintaining the current reduced level of VAT for a minimum of 12 months following the end of any final lockdown
  • continuing Business Rates relief
  • extending the furlough scheme.

Greg Dyke said: “Safeguarding the future of York’s hospitality and retail industry is absolutely vital and more must be done by the government to protect and support the many businesses in the city within these sectors.

“The additional support measures we’re calling for are critical for ensuring that these sectors thrive post-pandemic, and that we protect businesses and jobs within the city.”

And Cllr Aspden said: “With the economic impact of Covid-19 becoming ever more apparent, I am pleased to be joining partners from across the city to urge the government to step up on this issue and provide a comprehensive package of support for York’s hospitality and retail sectors.

“York has the qualities to build back better from this pandemic, but the Government must provide the funding to support our recovery and most importantly, protect businesses, jobs and livelihoods.”