"It is lockdown by stealth": Bassetlaw business owners hit out at lack of Government support as they are "being told to stay open and customers are being told to stay away"

Business owners in Bassetlaw have spoken of their anger and fears for their future as they urgently call for help from the Government.

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 12:21 pm

Susan Hale, owner of The Malt House and Grafton Fine Ales said Worksop will become “more of a ghost town” unless support comes as businesses continue to see footfall drop and customers cancel bookings over Covid fears during what should be a busy festive period.

It comes as Plan B measures have been introduced to try and stem the rise of Omicrom, but uncertainty remains over whether there will be further restrictions.

Susan said: “The current uncertainty is keeping customers away from hospitality and without economic support for the hundreds of breweries and thousands of pubs that rely on December trading we will see many more small businesses close.

There are fears over the future of businesses in Worksop.

“We urgently need to see an appearance from the chancellor and for him to deliver new support for the beer and pubs sector – introducing a Brewers Support Fund as seen in Scotland to the rest of the UK, prioritise the release of the £1.5 billion of Business Rates Relief, and provide compensation for the millions of pints of beer which potentially could be poured down the drain.

“I can’t believe that everyone in hospitality and retail, is being put through so much unnecessary stress by this ‘wait and see’ policy."

Susan said it feels “just like March 2020 all over again” and fears that any support measures could be “too little too late for many businesses.”

She added: “This also has a knock on effect for other industries. The suppliers, the drivers, and then on the back of it, the like of the hairdressers, the beauticians, the clothes shops etc. All of these are here in our town.

"Worksop hasn’t recovered from the floods, we have the highest empty shops units ratio in the UK.

"This town needs people to survive, but I worry that if further restrictions come into play, then there will be nothing left here at all.

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"It’s such a shame to think that, as we have some amazing hard working independents, who have got up and fought every single day for the past two years, who simply don’t get the support they need.

"If nothing comes from the Government then Worksop will become more of a ghost town it is already, and there will simply be nothing left.

"All the memories of a bustling, thriving town will soon be a distance memory”.

Owner of Captain Jack’s Adventure in Retford, Sally Roberts called on the government “to get a grip quickly.”

She said: “For businesses already on their knees struggling to make up lost trade after months of being shut, the government’s messaging is now costing us dearly in lost revenue.

"With bookings cancelled, numbers at booked events reduced and footfall falling daily, I think businesses in Bassetlaw are asking ‘where is the support?’

"Yet again another lockdown by stealth.

"We are being told to stay open and our customers are being told to stay away.

"It’s completely unsustainable and the government needs to get a grip quickly.”