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Liverpool BID Company has revealed that 425,000 fewer people have visited the city centre in the last month, compared with August. That represents a 10% drop week on week since the start of September.
The impact is revealed as Liverpool BID Company adds its voice to a letter sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for a new approach to the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The letter is from business groups across the North of England, including Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, York and Sunderland (it’s attached but you can also find it here.)
“The next five weeks is crucial for Northern cities. These are vibrant, successful, thriving city centres and visitor economies that risk being left to decline if they do not receive the support we have been calling for since early September. We are working to develop a coordinated response across the North, that includes lobbying together with business leaders from Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York, Sunderland and Newcastle.
Christmas is crucial for our high streets and city centres, not just in terms of spend but also footfall and tourism. Our businesses in Liverpool tell us they do between 30 and 50% of their annual trading in this period in the run up to Christmas. On retail alone, Christmas in store sales are worth £53.1bn according to the Centre for Retail Research. What is the government telling these businesses to do? Write off 2020?
People want a Christmas with their families, and cities and festive celebrations play a huge part in that. But we, along with businesses across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are driving blind.
We need clarity. We need to know the science behind these lockdowns that are gutting our high streets. The Government wants to level up the country but it is leaving the North to fall.
We need struggling businesses to be supported and that means funds now and clear recovery support lines in place. That means jobs being protected. We need a test and trace system that works so we can identify where outbreaks happen and drive numbers down.
Retail and hospitality businesses have been one of the hardest hit, they have invested tens of thousands of pounds in safety measures, they have had to police the restrictions, been on the receiving end of abuse and ultimately been told their livelihoods are at risk. More has been asked of them than almost any sectors. They have played their part, it’s now the Government’s turn to play theirs.
Our cities cannot close, the country can’t afford them to.”
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