With a formal delay to the 21 June lockdown easing widely expected later today, below are reactions from small businesses around the UK.
16 responses from the Newspage community
"For the majority of financial services businesses, any delay to lockdown easing won’t make a difference due to the technology that the pandemic has pushed us to embrace. "That said, I, like most people I know, are weary of it all now so another four weeks after all this time is neither here nor there."
"My business provides HR consultancy and management training. My team has not met face-to-face since March 2020. With 21 June in mind, we are glide pathing hybrid working with a view to fully returning to our offices. "Likewise, since March 2020 we have not delivered any face to face management training, we’ve adapted to virtual delivery, and we’ve benefitted from the removal of geographical limitations. "So, delaying Freedom Day, for my business means we continue to adapt. However, I do, as a business owner myself, have empathy for those businesses who continue to be impacted."
"Further delays to lockdown easing will cause countless problems for businesses up and down the country. At the current rate, big parts of the hospitality sector could disintegrate before our eyes. "We need clear, concise guidelines from the Government, nothing wishy-washy and ethereal. Give us a clear plan, spell out what it means to the businesses affected, and reveal what support will be available. More than ever we need robust leadership right now. It's all about building confidence, among affected business owners, their staff and the public as a whole. Any hesitancy or unclear messaging won't help at all with that."
"Any delay to the easing of lockdown will be a huge blow to all the weddings and events I'm involved in over the coming weeks. If there is a plan to delay, we need Government guidance immediately, so we can react and manage the situation effectively. We need decisive decision-making from the PM, not dithering."
"There's a chance some businesses will throw in the towel if the easing of restrictions is further delayed. After a rollercoaster year, I wouldn’t blame them. "I'm particularly interested to see what support Rishi Sunak will offer to business owners in the hospitality and events sector. "As for our business, I m not sure we'll see a huge change as we've adapted our systems throughout the pandemic to ensure continuity of service."
"As someone who supports small businesses in many sectors, any decision to delay June 21 will definitely have an impact. What's important is that decisions are made quickly so as not to cause further problems. "Working with several hospitality and events companies, I know a delay could mean redundancies if an annual event is cancelled that is a year's worth of work gone up in smoke. Those businesses will need additional Government support."
"A delay in releasing the lockdown measures will have a devastating effect on the Herpetology breeding industry. We rely on reptile shows and exhibitions to legally show and sell our animals. Since March 2020 when the pandemic struck, we have not been able to sell them and this has had major knock-on effects throughout the industry, on pet stores, equipment manufacturers and specialist couriers, that has forced many to close up shop completely."
"Any delay to the current roadmap will be devastating for many small businesses, who are barely holding on already. The Government needs to stop sitting on the fence and be clearer in its communication and decision-making."
“Further pressure on the hospitality industry, with delays costing millions, putting jobs at risk and further creating a narrative of uncertainly, which in turn removes consumer confidence. “I support the call for the Chancellor to extend the business rate relief for the entire year to aid recovery.”
Further delays to the easing of lockdown will be another hammer blow to the uk population. The entertainment, hospitality and events sector seems to have been left behind while the rest of the country seems to be back to a relative normal."
"Having a COVID-secure Workplace Policy isn’t enough! Furloughed employees want the Government to tell them clearly whether they should or should not feel confident enough to go back to work, based on facts and not opinion. "Tensions are already running high for employers and any further delays will damage employee relations, as many letters will have already been sent out inviting employees to return on 21st June."
"This Government is barking mad. Thousands of people can turn up at football matches and motor racing events but weddings, with significantly fewer attendees, are seen as a clear and present danger. Boris Johnson needs to listen to the sobbing I hear over the phone daily, as people once again have to reschedule their big day."
A further delay is unthinkable, especially for a small one-woman business like mine, operating in the travel industry. Suffice to say, my travel business has suffered greatly, not to mention, I've had no support from the Government for being a Limited company.
"While I'm aware of the effect any delay to ending lockdown will have on my business, I'd much rather people's safety is prioritised over profits. I'm just concerned that no further assistance will be forthcoming for micro businesses from the Government to help us cover our losses at this time."
"While I agree that something needs to be done, I am concerned that there may not be any extra support for small businesses that are helping the economy to grow, and with the summer season approaching, many of us see this time of year as our life line."
"For businesses struggling to maintain cashflow, any delay in the easing of lockdown could be the final nail in the coffin."