Purley BID’s CEO has spoken out about the impact that the latest covid-19 restrictions are having on his members’ businesses
The move into “High” covid-19 restrictions “has been devastating” for local businesses, according to the official who manages the Purley Business Improvement District.
The increased restrictions, imposed on Croydon and the rest of London last weekend, has had such a detrimental effect on the retail and hospitality industry that “many jobs and livelihoods are now on a knife-edge”, said Simon Cripps, the CEO of Purley BID.
“The impact of moving into Tier 2 which will no doubt be reflected through Croydon borough and all Tier 2 areas,” Cripps told Inside Croydon.
Echoing the appeals for more help from government that have been made this week by city mayors in Manchester and Liverpool, Cripps says that members of Purley BID are desperate for support.
“The move to Tier 2 has been devastating, as the effect of stopping customers but not providing the support needed is evident. Transitioning between Tier 1 and Tier 2 appears to make a further 40 per cent drop in profits and now making an overall drop year on year of about 80 per cent.
“This makes running a viable business in Tier 2 close to impossible as there is no support for businesses.”
Cripps describes “a triple threat” to the hospitality and retail industries, “where firstly people are now scared to go out with the increased risk level. Secondly, people are reluctant to go out to hospitality venues as they are unable to experience socialising with friends and family outside their household.
“Thirdly, there is still a lack of confidence in the security of the data from the track and trace app which is causing many people to confront and challenge business owners doing their best to keep the community safe.”
Allesandro Jahier, from 4Locos Argentine Steakhouse in Purley, said, “We need help from the government, and we need it now. We really appreciate what has been done so far, but at this stage, we need extra effort from the top to keep our businesses alive and support all our employees.”
Retailing has also been badly affected. Lisa Downham is another Purley BID member, who runs the Get Fired pottery painting shop. “Tier 2 is having such a detrimental effect on my business,” she said.
“We were already down 60 per cent on last year’s figures but are now down a further 40 per cent from last week. People want to support us but just can’t under these restrictions. We have had to turn down so many bookings at a time when every one is vital. We need help to cope financially with the Tier 2 restrictions.”
Many of the grants or financial schemes offered to businesses at the start of the first lockdown have now expired, been spent on rent or, with furlough, is about to be withdrawn. Cripps said: “Our businesses need action now, whether this is additional support such as grants, rent relief or furlough, or to move into the circuit break sooner rather than later.”
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