Written by: Keith Tully
Newly introduced Covid restrictions could prove to represent a “crushing blow” for thousands of companies across that UK.
That’s according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which is worried particularly for the hospitality sector and the almost 4 million people employed within it.
Pubs and restaurants have been told by government that they must close by 10pm and people who can work from home are being encouraged to do so.
Earlier closing times will be “another bitter pill to swallow” for restaurants, pubs and café businesses who have “had it hard throughout the crisis,” says the CBI.
There are concerns also that having millions of people work from home when they would otherwise be based in offices will hinder economic recoveries in towns and cities across the country.
“While action [to stop the spread of coronavirus] is necessary, it comes at a serious price,” commented Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director-general.
“It is vital that all announcements of restrictions go hand in hand with clarity on the business support that protects jobs,” she added.
The new restrictions being introduced are due to remain in place for a period of six months, which the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said represents very bad news indeed for many of its members.
“We’ve already suffered from six months of disruption linked to this virus, and small businesses and the self-employed will be dismayed at facing another six months of restrictions,” said the FSB’s national chairman Mike Cherry in a statement.
“Many businesses - particularly those at the heart of our night time economy and events industries - are now seriously fearing for their futures,” he said.
“Having lost the summer, a lot of them would’ve been pinning their hopes to increased trade in the run-up to Christmas. Their plans are now in disarray.”
According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), around one in 10 company bosses across the UK would currently consider their businesses to be at either ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ risk of insolvency.
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