As many Northern cities in the UK enter the toughest lockdown phase, ‘tier 3’, there is growing concern for what this means for businesses.
The imposition of any lockdown on regional cities without what has been termed ‘reasonable financial help’ has caused many to ask whether they can afford to open their hospitality businesses once this phase is over. The fact that there has been no threshold set to as and when areas come out of the highest phase has led to increased economic concerns. This economic hardship has been compounded by several months of fallen footfall due to increased uncertainty and concern about the virus.
Economist and member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, Gertjan Vlieghe, said that:
“The fact that redundancies are rising sharply and the number of vacancies is only at around 60% of its level at the start of this year makes it difficult to see a scenario where all of the remaining furloughed workers are reintegrated seamlessly into the labour force.”
Furthermore, the Government failed to meet an agreement with the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham after setting a deadline for midday on Tuesday 20th October. This will likely have major ramifications for the Conservative Government in Westminster which now relies heavily on the North for much of its 80 seat majority.