The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has told MPs in the Commons on Monday afternoon that London and parts of the South East will enter into the strictest Tier 3 before Christmas.
This will undoubtedly have a catastrophic impact on the economy as businesses across the capital are supposed to be in their “golden month.”
A London MP said in response to Hancock’s announcement, that there was a “lot of frustration,2 as there are no real answers to their questions.
The MP added that it was the “same gloomy outlook as last week’s meeting except all the data is even worse, almost back to the levels pre-lockdown.”
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said that now the capital is in Tier 3, the government must offer business support.
Richard Burge, LCCI’s CEO told LondonLovesBusiness, “If health professionals decide it is essential that London moves into Tier 3 then so be it. But the business support from the government must be sufficient and immediate.
“This must include, as a minimum instant cash support to enterprises in hospitality and leisure, and extension of the business rates holiday into the next financial year, which will help the whole of the high street to plan their outgoings and mitigate the impact of loss of trade due to restrictions deterring those outside London from travelling in.
“Vaccination roll-out is perhaps also unlikely to equate to economic benefit until well into the next financial year.
“There must also be a clear government plan with London’s councils for the rollout of widescale testing in the capital, and provide sufficient support for those who have to self-isolate, not least the self-employed and sole traders.
“Only then will we see the number of cases come down with the Christmas lights.”
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have also said the government must offer financial support to businesses in London.
They are calling on the government to provide a”dequate proportionate support to the tens of thousands of businesses.”
Michael Lassman, London Regional Chair FSB told LondonLovesBusiness, “We are now calling for Government to give adequate proportionate support to the tens of thousands of businesses who operate within the hospitality and tourism related sectors to help them see out the remainder of 2020 and have a fighting chance of survival in 2021.
“We need to see rapid and relentless testing in London hotspots to give businesses a chance of turning the tide as quickly as possible. It is important that Councils do not go in heavy-handed in businesses where there are ‘Covid-compliant’ operations taking place to keep a business viable.
“We urge consumers to continue to shop where possible with small firms, online and in person, and find supportive ways to help these businesses get through these extremely challenging times.”