Retailers call for urgent Covid aid for businesses in southern and eastern England | Business


Retailers are calling on the government to ramp up financial support for businesses in the south and east of the country England Which has been forced to close in the last days before Christmas.

Prime Minister Announced on Saturday In the afternoon, non-essential stores and services, including clothing, toy stores, electrical outlets, and hairdressers, must close at midnight in the shadow of the new Class 4 Restrictions. As a result, it will leave thousands of outlets in the south including London, Kent, Hertfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey with heaps of unsold stock.

After a bleak year for major streets, many retailers were counting on a last-minute rush to stores in the busiest trading periods of the year. With the deadline now passed which is the time when most online retailers can deliver home before Christmas Day, shoppers usually turn their attention to major streets and malls.

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the government to announce “exceptional and immediate cash grant aid” to all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses that have had to close their doors under Level 4 restrictions.

Richard Berg, CEO of LCCI, added that the advisor “should also issue appropriate instructions to banks and landlords, and stop paying all forms of taxes and fees to national and local government agencies.”

Andrew Godacre, chief executive of British Independent Retailers (BIRA), which represents thousands of independent stores, said the shutdown in the south and southeast was a “disaster for these companies”.

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“They’ve only opened for 17 days in the busiest month of the year, and they’ll now miss the holidays and New Year sales,” Godacre said.

“They need financial support that reflects what they lost and is definitely better than the grants that were provided in November (many of which were not paid out).”

Major retailers, such as John Lewis, said that customers will be able to pick up ordered merchandise online from stores, helping to keep business flowing. However, many smaller stores are unable to provide these facilities.

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