Derby businesses urged to seek support as Tier 3 beckons
Hospitality businesses impacted by the decision to place the city under Covid alert level ‘Very High’ are being urged to seek support, says Derby City Council.
Last week, it was revealed that the Government had decided to put Derby and Derbyshire under Tier 3 restrictions as from tomorrow, following national lockdown restrictions coming to an end. Areas placed under Tier 3 (the highest COVID alert level) are those with significant transmission within the community.
Under the restrictions, shops, including ‘non-essential’ shops, will be able to open. But bars, pubs, restaurants and other hospitality-related businesses should remain closed, with the exception of sales by takeaway, drive-through or delivery. Hotels must also keep their accommodation closed, with limited exceptions.
Meanwhile, indoor entertainment venues must remain closed. Large events should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.
John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said: “It's very disappointing news and it will impact many businesses, most especially in the hospitality and visitor economy, who were hoping to open up this week.
“It will be reviewed and all we can do now is to work together as a city and county community to reduce the transmission to a state that allows for movement into at least Tier 2.”
Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of Derby City Council, said: “The more stringently we follow Derby’s ‘Very High’ restrictions, the faster transmission of Covid will drop.
“This will give Derby citizens and our businesses the best chance possible at eased measures sooner rather than later.
“During this period in Tier 3, we will be doing everything we can to offer support to vulnerable people, businesses and communities in general to ensure they are as safeguarded as possible against the effects of the restrictions.”
Businesses, particularly those in the hospitality sector, are being urged to apply for cash from two government-funded grant schemes. According to the city council, more than 1,000 businesses applied for either the new Local Restrictions Support Grant or the Additional Restrictions Grant in the first 10 days of opening, and hundreds of payments have already been issued.
Meanwhile, Scott Knowles, chief executive of East Midlands Chamber, has called on the Government to be prepared to offer extra financial support where it is needed. He said: “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.
“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.”
If your business has been impacted by the Government lockdown guidelines, here are some useful links where you can get financial help and support:
Community support will be available to those who need it. Derby’s Community Hub can be contacted on 01332 640000. A text service is also available using 07774 333412.