A BUSINESSWOMAN form Greater Manchester has revealed how the Government has failed the Hospitality industry and thousands like her in the name of protecting the nation from a virus with a recovery rate of 99.5%
Despite attacks from the Tory Ministers Greater Manchester MPs and local leaders are united in fighting against a tough Tier 3 Lockdown that would devastate the local economy and cost thousands of jobs.
Leading the fight is Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham who has refused to implement a tough Tier 3 lockdown that would cost the livelihoods of Resturant and Bar owners across the region.
I visited one restaurant during a visit to my hometown of Bolton – right in the heart of Greater Manchester to support the local economy.
The flamboyant Courtyard36 restaurant in Bolton’s old Town Hall is owned by Rebecca Brayshaw, she told me that her business had been hit with a “devastating” effect thanks to Tory flip-flops on Lockdown.
“From regular trading to max 6 people to single household restrictions we have seen 40-70% decline in sales.”
Rebecca also highlighted the cost of the tough local lockdown that was imposed on Bolton by Whitehall in September.
“The Second lockdown was a huge knock for the town centre and now the footfall in the town is virtually non existent.”
“Heading into a third lockdown could potentially destroy the town centre nightlife until we’ll into the new year, if it comes back at all.””We have lost 3 members of staff including our manager due to the situation… their concern over the industry, whether they will have a job at all has proved too much.”
“They have left the industry entirely and decided to get ahead of.”
NO SUPPORT FROM GOVERNMENT
“What is potentially a very long line of unemployed so got jobs with companies like Amazon – so the concern is very real that there will potentially not be that committed staff left to work in hospitality when we are given the go head to reopen and get things back to prevent Covid sales.”
Rebecca also revealed that despite Government promises, her business has seen a major lack of support.
“The biggest concern we have is the lack of support for owner directors of small businesses like ours.”
WORKING HARD DESPITE VIRUS
“I have committed life savings to renovate and start this business that is completely entwined with the hospitality business…. bar, food, networking, con working, offices, event space and wedding venue….. I am on the verge of possibly losing it all and the current support packages do not help me individually.”
“I don’t get furlough, I plough any profit back into the business and have to personally pick up any shortfalls.”
“As it stands I cannot personally continue to do this so all the current support packages alone will not help my business survive.”
IT’S A UK WIDE PROBLEM
Rebecca denied it was a North-South problem, adding that the potention for a Circit-Breaker Lockdown was a “nationwide problem.”
“The fact the north have faced the issues first doesn’t mean they won’t affect every area of the hospitality industry.”
“The north is right to fight for fair, equal and complete support for the industries affected by closures.”
“Bolton in particular was forgotten but as the concern spread across the North our voices have gotten louder together meaning we can’t be ignored but I think it is just a matter of time before the south start to feel the effect of tier 2 and the fear that tier 3 will bring.”
BURNHAM FIGHTS FOR WORKING-CLASS
KING of the North Andy Burnham has rejected a £100m offer to shut down Greater Manchester claiming people’s mental health is more important.
The Greater Manchester Metro Mayor said that “Nothing had Changed” after the Government leaked details of a £100m offer to help struggling businesses.
Burnham said in a statement today: “It’s not about the size of the cheque, it’s about protecting low paid workers, people who are self-employed and supporting businesses and preventing them from collapsing.”
“We’ve always said we’ll put people’s health first, and we will do that. But health is about more than controlling the virus.”
“People’s mental health I think is now pretty low given we’ve been under restrictions here for three months already.”
LORD DEMANDS 80% FOR UK
ANDY Burnham advisor Sasha Lord has demanded 80% for the whole of the UK amid the Lockdown war with Whitehall.
Lord, 48 who founded the hugely popular Parklife Festival and Warehouse Project in Manchester is the advisor to Burnham’s office for the Night-Time Economy.
Despite a £100m offer from Prime Minister Boris Johnson for Manchester businesses affected by Tier 3, Lord said that the whole of the UK needed better support amid the lockdown.
He demanded full and fair furlough scheme at 80%. Support for the self-employed, including freelancers.
Compensation for businesses directly or indirectly affected. “Not just for Greater Manchester, but for the UK.” added Lord.
He also called on Boris to remember the Mental Health effects of closing down Greater Manchester: “Whilst you are considering your next move: A promoter took his own life last week.” in a Tweet.
“Everyone, operators and employees who work within the Night-Time Economy, wake up anxious, fearful and worried. Their mental health is at a breaking point. Do the right thing.” added Lord.
It’s time Boris backed down.