UK retail consortium says the consequences of the new measures will be “severe” and calls for more government aid

Business reporter
@ JPFordRojas

The UK retail sector has warned of “serious” consequences of the new Tier 4 restrictions, which means non-essential stores in the affected areas will have to close in the week before Christmas

The UK retail consortium said thousands more jobs could be at risk – in an industry that has been devastated by months of the pandemic

She criticized the government’s “stop-start” approach as “deeply unhelpful” and, along with other groups, called for the vacation to be extended at business rates to help companies in trouble

Helen Dickinson, executive director of BRC, said the Tier 4 announcement, which will affect London and much of the Southeast, was “extremely unfortunate” after retailers invested hundreds of millions to make their premises COVID-proof

“That decision comes just two weeks after the last national lockdown ended and in the midst of the peak trading that so many depend on to fuel their recovery

“Given this news – and the prospect of a third year of $ 2 billion Losing GBP per week in sales – Many businesses will get into serious trouble and many thousands of jobs could be at risk

“The government must offer additional financial assistance to help these companies get back on track Extending the relief on corporate rates in 2021 is the best place to start “

The retail sector has so far been the sector hardest hit by the coronavirus employment crisis This comes from a tracker compiled by Sky News of the publicly announced job cuts

Arcadia – Sir Philip Green’s Topshop for the Dorothy Perkins group – and Debenhams were the latest high profile victims, with the collapse of these two alone being 25000 roles endangered

The latest official figures showed a decline in retail sales in November as England’s lockdown took its toll and the new restrictions will reduce the chance of a pre-Christmas rebound in high street sales for toy and fashion stores

Adam Marshall, Director General of the UK Chambers of Commerce, said: “Christmas has already been canceled for many companies, but more will now suffer from this last-minute decision

“While government must act on public health issues, it must also consider the economic ramifications of its actions

“Will there be more help for companies that are being forced to close their doors – and for those who have paid for stocks they can’t sell now?

“With a large number of companies on the sidelines, it would be incomprehensible if further restrictions or closings were announced without a fuller package of support”

Martin McTague, vice chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said, “From shops to hairdressers, this is usually the busiest time of the year

“Many will have bought additional shares and have increased working hours, now their earnings will literally disappear overnight”

Matthew Fell, UK Chief Policy Director at the CBI, said: “The government is right to take steps to protect public health – but new restrictions in the Southeast will give struggling companies a kick in the teeth””

Rachael Robathan, chairman of Westminster City Council, said: “At every level this is devastating for those companies now staring into the abyss after gasping for breath one last time at the pre-Christmas sales”

The animal announcement comes days after the UK’s vacation program renewed – subsidizing wages for tens of billion pounds of laid off workers during the pandemic – through the end of April

The UK economy slumped back to the worst recession ever earlier this year and is expected to shrink again in the current fourth quarter after the second lockdown – with recent measures sure to add to the gloomier outlook

© 2020 Sky UK

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World News – UK – COVID-19: Tier 4 restrictions could put thousands of jobs at risk, retail warns