Chief executive of Liverpool BID Company Bill Addy says when team members have to isolate small business often have to close, putting them at risk of collapse. Tony McDonough reports
Small businesses need extra support when they have to close due to a staff members having to isolate, the chief executive of Liverpool BID Company says.
Bill Addy claimed independent businesses in the hospitality and other sectors were often having to close their doors when a member of their team has to isolate due to the risk of COVID-19. He said smaller businesses needed targeted support.
“We are seeing an increasing number of independent businesses in hospitality and the wider visitor economy being forced to close their doors when a member of their team isolates. Without specific support this could close them down,” Mr Addy said.
“Every industry, every sector, every business has been threatened by COVID but we need to look at specific support for our smallest, our grassroots and our most vulnerable businesses. When a member of their team tests positive, they often do not have the space or staff resources to continue to operate. Instead, they have to close losing up to ten days worth of business.”
Liverpool BID Company represents around 1,000 levy-paying businesses across the commercial and retail districts of Liverpool city centre. Earlier in June businesses backed expanding the BID area, unlocking a £7m investment in the city centre. The results saw 79% voting in favour by number, and 84% in favour by rateable value.
Mr Addy added that this summer was “critical for those independents”, after the write-off of 2020. He said: “Especially those who may not have been able to deliver or had to pivot their business model during the course of the pandemic.
“These businesses are a crucial ingredient in our high streets and our city centres. They are homegrown and they need to be nurtured to be protected. Imagine seeing your business survive the past 18 months, only to see it threatened while the Government shouts about recovery.
“A dedicated grant to support these firms would help cover the costs they still have to invest in while they close their doors. Things like food they can no longer sell, or staff costs as furlough cover reduces, rent and more. Let us not let our independents down at this final hurdle.”