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UK retailers disappointed over Government Covid relief package

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

21 Dec 2021

Retail

Image: Pexels

The Government’s proposal to give struggling leisure and hospitality sectors a one-off grant of 6,000 pounds has left the retail industry cold.

The 1 billion pound financial support scheme fails to support the retail industry as businesses continue to struggle in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Experts were critical of the announcement as further restrictions could be introduced over the festive season. “Independent retail, and retail in general, will feel very disappointed with this announcement today by the chancellor,” Bira ceo Andrew Goodacre told the Retail Gazette. “Retail seems to be the forgotten part of the high street.”

“Shops do not have cancelled bookings to shout about, however they do have lower footfall, cancelled trips to the shops and therefore cancelled purchases at a critical time of year – just as much damage but just not as ‘visible’.

“The chancellor claims to respond proportionately but he has done nothing for independent retail.”

Jace Tyrrell, CEO of New West End Company, which represents over 600 businesses, said: “With people increasingly staying home in the wake of rising cases, retail and leisure businesses are facing a bleak festive season. Footfall on one of London’s most popular shopping strips dipped by 17 percent last weekend, compared with pre-pandemic levels. Having made significant investments in their winter operations in the hope of a bumper Christmas to make up for the last 20 months, to see empty streets is a hammer blow.”

“There is no relief for the retail industry, which has been equally hard hit by a lack of footfall. The Treasury must wake up to the fact that viable businesses will be forced to permanently close their doors unless more robust temporary measures are put in place to ease the financial pressure.”

Article source: The Retail Gazette
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