Today Councillor Ani Stafford-Townsend and Councillor Barry Parsons have sent the following to WECA Metro Mayor, Dan Norris, asking him to ask the treasury to provide business support.
Dear Mr Norris,
Following Prof Whitty’s much needed advice to ‘prioritise’ social interaction, large amounts of Bristolians have thankfully heeded his advice. This has caused bookings to be cancelled, events to be pulled and shopper numbers to drop off a cliff. In order to keep our city safe, and our NHS functioning it is crucial that this happens.
However, this means that already struggling businesses are facing extreme losses, especially ones who have stock in for this normally very busy week run up to Christmas. As you know, these businesses have been supporting their local communities for the last two years, becoming pop up grocery stores in the first lockdown and in many cases providing food to children in school holidays. Businesses have scraped their way through the last few years, and have just begun the slow painful rebuilding process. They now face inflation at its highest rate in a decade, with a new wave of COVID surging, increased financial hardship, closures, joblessness and even homelessness.
We are writing to ask you as WECA mayor to call on the Treasury to urgently produce financial support measures for businesses now being hit, especially the self-employed, small businesses, hospitality, retail and creative businesses. We urgently require the reintroduction of COVID grants, furlough, and sick pay so that staff can afford to isolate and recover. We would also appreciate your support also for Universal Basic Income to ensure that no one falls through the safety net this time.
We urge you to call for the financial support needed to get through this crucial time.
Cllr Ani Stafford-Townsend and Cllr Barry Parsons, shadow cabinet members for Culture, Communities, Equalities & Public Health on behalf of Bristol Green Group.