Council supports Cheshire West and Chester businesses through second difficult Christmas
23 December 2021Helping businesses through one of their toughest times is at the heart of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s response to the current rise in COVID-19 infections.
The Council welcomes the announcement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that a £1 billion fund will be made available to hard-hit businesses, in the hospitality and leisure sectors.
As soon as formal guidance is received, the Council will issue grants to those businesses that meet the criteria.
Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said:
“We work closely with our local business sector, including Marketing Cheshire, Destination Cheshire, Destination Chester and our Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), and I had written to the Chancellor on behalf of us all to raise our concerns about the reduction in revenues being felt by the local business community, so I’m really pleased that this fund has been set aside.
“We’re already seeing enquiries coming in so know how urgently this funding is needed to support businesses enduring the second year of restrictions and uncertainty – at what should be their best time of year.
“I want to reassure businesses that we will make available our share of the fund as soon as we can following the announcement earlier today and hope to receive the full detail soon to help us to do that.
“We are seeing an increase in COVID-19 infection rates in the borough – with our seven-day rate the highest we’ve ever seen – so I would urge businesses to do all you can to keep staff and customers safe.
“Get your vaccinations and booster dose as soon as you can, test regularly if you don’t have any symptoms by using a lateral flow test, if you do have symptoms stay at home and book a laboratory-processed PCR test.
“Follow the guidelines around facemasks in public indoor spaces and look after each other.
“I would also urge people shopping and eating out to do so locally and support the borough’s businesses during this difficult time.”
Joe Manning, Chief Executive of Marketing Cheshire, said:
“This is an incredibly worrying and difficult time for many businesses across Cheshire and Warrington, especially those in the visitor economy, leisure, and hospitality sectors.
“Yesterday’s announcement from the Chancellor will provide some relief, but there will still be a large amount of worry and stress for businesses given the high amount of uncertainty that remains.
“I’d urge any business looking for support to keep an eye on the Let’s Talk Business website and to follow directions for accessing the funding as soon as available. Marketing Cheshire and Cheshire Warrington Growth Hub are also committed to support businesses at this time.”
Jamie Christon, chairman of Destination Chester, said:
“Destination Chester is working closely with Cheshire West and Chester Council as a single umbrella network working towards representing businesses who are being affected by COVID-19.
“We are determined to support where possible and are pleased that the Council, Marketing Cheshire and Business Improvement Districts are acting as a single voice to lobby for further central government support.”
Register for the Let’s Talk Business e-newsletter for further details about the latest financial support. Visit: www.let’stalkbizcw.co.uk and click on ‘Register interest’.
For more information about testing and vaccination, visit: www.cheshirewestandchester/covid19.